Winter meetings start on Monday, and the Red Sox are looking to go after the former Royals closer in Greg Holland. He did not pitch last year due to Tommy John surgery, and before that, while playing injured, saw a decrease in his fastball velocity. When healthy, Holland is a shut down closer, and will have to wait and see what the market and health looks like for Holland this winter.
The White Sox are shuffling their rotation for the upcoming doubleheader, pushing Lucas Giolito's start to Tuesday while giving Fulmer the Game 2 nod. Fulmer left his most recent start at Triple-A with a leg cramp, but it appears to be a non-issue heading into Monday. Fulmer, a former first-round selection, has not appeared at the big league level this season and has a troubling 5.61 ERA over 24 starts at Triple-A this season.
Bellinger came up nursing his ankle after catching a flyball in the sixth inning, and while his was able to finish the frame, the Dodgers decided to play it safe and pinch-hit for him in the top of the seventh. He was 0-for-2 with a strikeout before Yasiel Puig subbed in for him. The severity of the injury should become clearer once he is further evaluated following Saturday's game, but this would be a huge blow for the Dodgers if the young phenom is forced to miss extended time, as he has slashed .275/.357/.616 with 34 homers in 100 games since his callup earlier in the season.
The White Sox shuffled their rotation for their upcoming doubleheader Monday and will use Carlos Rodon and Carson Fulmer for the twin bill. As such, Giolito will have to wait one extra day to make his first big league appearance of 2017. Giolito's shine as a top-tier prospect was worn off somewhat since 2016, but the 23-year-old will have a chance to finish the season strong once he joins the White Sox rotation Tuesday. He is coming off his best stretch of the season at Triple-A Charlotte, firing a 1.74 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP over his last five starts (31.0 IP).
It's unclear what Murphy is dealing with at this point, but it's worth noting that he missed a couple games last week due to hip discomfort. More should be known following the conclusion of Saturday's game. In the meantime, Howie Kendrick will slide to second base to take his place, opening a spot in the outfield for Andrew Stevenson to start.
Although Bird is closing in on his much-anticipated return to the Yankees after a lengthy rehab from an ankle injury, the club won't rush him back until he's fully ready. With that, Bird might not be back with the Yankees until next weekend's series against the Mariners. The Yankees figure to continue platooning Chase Headley, Todd Frazier, and Tyler Austin at first base until Bird's ready to return.
This is apparently the first time he has played in the outfield since he was nine years old, so it seems like a long shot that he would prove competent enough out there on defense to justify sticking there long term. Most importantly, Park is a 31-year-old who has been a league average hitter (100 wRC+) with 10 home runs and a 30.1 percent strikeout rate at Triple-A, so he is simply not hitting enough to realistically profile at any corner spot.
As expected, Ray will rejoin the big-league rotation for the upcoming series against the Mets after spending the entire month of August on the concussion DL. He struck out 11 batters through 4.2 innings during his only minor-league rehab start, flashing the impressive stuff he displayed with the Diamondbacks before being struck in the head by a liner last month. Ray sports a healthy 3.11 ERA and 151:58 K:BB through 118.2 innings (20 starts) this season, and he should be immediately deployed in all formats.
It remains to be seen whether he will start the day game or the night game, but Melville will get the ball Monday, and could conceivably stick in the rotation after that start, as the Twins only have four starting pitchers locked in going forward. Dillon Gee will start the other half of the doubleheader, so the fifth spot in the rotation could come down to which of those two impresses. Melville is almost 28 years old and has made just two big-league starts in his career, so he is hardly a prospect. He is also on his fourth organization. That said, he has a 2.70 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 64 strikeouts in 66.2 innings this year with Triple-A Rochester, so he has certainly earned this opportunity.
It remains to be seen whether he will start the day game or the night game, but Gee will get the ball Monday, and could conceivably stick in the rotation after that start, as the Twins only have four starting pitchers locked in going forward. Tim Melville will start the other half of the doubleheader, so the fifth spot in the rotation could come down to which of those two impresses. Gee gave up four runs over 3.1 innings in his only other start this year and posted a 5.55 ERA in 14 starts in 2016, so he should be avoided for now in most formats.
Joseph has struggled over his last five starts -- going just 1-for-19 (.053) with a walk -- so he'll get the day off to clear his head. Jorge Alfaro is starting at first base in his stead, batting sixth.
Apparently, Chris Tillman, who was recently moved to the bullpen, could start Sunday's game if he is not used out of the bullpen Saturday. It is unclear if this means the Orioles might be moving Miley to the bullpen or just adding a sixth starter for this turn in the rotation. Miley has a 7.44 ERA, 1.93 WHIP and 58 strikeouts over his last 65.1 innings. If Tillman is used in relief Saturday, it would seem that Miley would still be in line for Sunday's start.
Difo has started the last 22 games at shortstop, slashing .310/.356/.440 with two homers and three stolen bases over that stretch, so he'll head to the bench for a much deserved breather Saturday. In his place, Adrian Sanchez is starting at shortstop and batting second.
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