Although Francona left a lot to be desired in Game 7 of the World Series, the job he has done in Cleveland can not be overstated, and he'll be locked in through the year 2020. Francona has a .545 career winning percentage with the Indians and made it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The Indians have the core to be a contender for years to come.
Kelley motioned to trainers after throwing his 20th pitch of the eighth inning. It's unclear what was wrong, but considering Kelley has dealt with neck issues this year and has undergone Tommy John surgery twice in his career, any injury like this is scary. Consider him day-to-day until the Nationals can fully evaluate him.
Salazar lasted less than three innings in his last start Thursday against the Angels. Cleveland will want to make sure he has another chance to find his rhythm before the postseason begins. His next start would line up September 27 against Minnesota on regular rest, but the club may choose to change things around to properly arrange their rotation for the playoffs.
Slater has appeared just three times in the past seven games, and this would explain his sporadic appearances. The Giants want to get Slater back into action before the season ends so they can ensure he will be healthy for winter ball, so consider him day-to-day for now.
With the Dodgers having clinched at least a tie in the National League West, the club will have plenty of chances to evaluate McCarthy's readiness to pitch in the postseason. Look for him to serve a multi-inning role should the Dodgers need somebody to clean up a messy start or eat some innings in a blowout.
With Brandon McCarthy ready to go, the Dodgers will place Ravin on the 60-day disabled list to open up a spot on the 40-man roster. The injury likely isn't that serious, but with just over a week left to go in the season, Ravin's chances of returning to action were slim to none. Expect Ravin back by spring training.
At this point in time, Sam Gaviglio is scheduled to take the mound Sunday, while Kennedy is expected to pitch Monday. Regardless of whether or not Kennedy rejoins the team early enough to move his start to Sunday, he's fully expected to be ready to go by Monday. If Kennedy does end up pitching Sunday, the Royals would send Jake Junis to the hill Monday. More news regarding the situation should be available Saturday.
Cotton said that he felt good following Friday's workout, so it looks like he could return to the mound for Sunday's game against the Rangers. Cotton has struggled in recent starts. Over his last five outings he's thrown 26.2 innings and posted a 5.74 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. Control has been an an issue for Cotton all season, and his recent starts have been no exception as he walked 10 batters across the aforementioned games.
Coming off five consecutive starts behind the dish, Chirinos will get the night to rest. Over said games Chirinos went just 1-for-17 (.059), causing his batting average to fall from .269 to .257. Brett Nicholas will start at catcher and hit eighth Friday.
Jones will give way to Pablo Sandoval at third base for a second straight game. This absence comes as no surprise, as the Dodgers are starting lefty Rich Hill, but Wednesday's absence was against a right-hander and that suggests the team is backtracking on its plan to give Jones more starts down the stretch. Jones is batting just .139/.205/.167 and has struck out 21 times in 36 at-bats so far in September.
DeShields has put together a solid .275/.354/.374 line over 112 games this season. He's also managed to steal 29 bases and score 72 runs in that time. However, despite his production, it's possible that DeShields could see less time in the lineup as the season comes to a close. With Carlos Gomez back in full health, the Rangers may opt to platoon DeShields in left field with Nomar Mazara.
Nick Castellanos will be Detroit's designated hitter Friday night while Hicks heads to the bench. Hicks hasn't done much at the plate lately, as he's gone just 2-for-15 (.133) over the last seven games.
Puig has been on a nice run of late, but he will head to the bench in the series opener. There has been nothing to suggests an injury is in play, so it seems manager Dave Roberts is just rewarding Andre Ethier for his pinch-hit homer Thursday with a start in the outfield. Look for Puig to be back in there for the final two games of the series.
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