LEADING OFF: Brewers go bullpen, Dodgers send out Ryu
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
OPENER FOR THE OPENER
The Brewers will begin their NL Division Series against the Rockies with a bullpen game at Miller Park. Manager Craig Counsell said Wednesday he had not decided on the order of his relievers. The group will almost certainly include All-Star left-hander Josh Hader, though Colorado will have a tough test start to finish — Milwaukee led the majors with a 1.98 bullpen ERA in September.
Colorado counters with Antonio Senzatela, a right-hander who is 6-6 with a 4.38 ERA in 23 games, including 13 starts. It will be the postseason debut for the 23-year-old.
THE ACE AWAITS
The Braves and Dodgers open their NLDS in Los Angeles, and Atlanta has a chance to jump ahead before facing Clayton Kershaw in Game 2. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to hold back his ace left-hander and will instead start Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 1. The left-handed Ryu was 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA in 15 starts this season.
Mike Foltynewicz is up for the Braves. The hard-throwing right-hander put it all together this season, posting career bests with a 2.85 ERA over 183 innings. Atlanta might be without shortstop Dansby Swanson, who appears a long shot to make the team’s roster after partially tearing a ligament in his left hand last month.
The Yankees are headed up to Fenway Park ahead of their AL Division Series opener against the Red Sox on Friday night. It’s the first time New York and Boston will clash in the postseason since the 2004 AL Championship Series. The Yankees beat the Athletics 7-2 Wednesday night in the AL wild-card game to set up the AL East showdown.
Boston manager Alex Cora said Wednesday he was still deciding on his bullpen alignment for the ALDS. He has two spots available to righties Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman and lefty Bobby Poyner. Relief was the biggest weakness for the team while it won a franchise-record 108 games. The Red Sox had an AL-worst 4.84 ERA in September.
TAKE YOUR PICK
Rajai Davis has his name cemented in October baseball lore, but it might not be on Cleveland’s playoff roster this year. Indians manager Terry Francona has one spot left on his 25-man roster for the AL Division Series against the Houston Astros and it will go to either Davis or utility infielder Erik Gonzalez.
“We’re debating the last spot,” Francona said Wednesday. “We’re going back and forth.”
The Indians will open the ALDS in Houston on Friday and Francona must submit his roster to Major League Baseball by 10 a.m. that morning for the best-of-five series.
Addison Russell’s future with the Cubs is in question after Major League Baseball suspended the Chicago shortstop 40 games for violating the league’s domestic violence policy after a series of allegations made by his ex-wife. Russell’s unpaid suspension includes the 11 regular-season games he missed after being placed on administrative leave Sept. 21.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he’s not sure what the odds are of Russell playing another game for the Cubs.
“Domestic violence is everyone’s problem,” he said. “Because of that, we all have an obligation to be part of the solution as well. The discipline in a case like this is part of the solution going forward and so we support Major League Baseball’s decision and we think it’s appropriate. But prevention is also a big part of the solution and maybe a more important solution.”
PASSING THE BUCK
The Orioles are beginning a search for a new manager and general manager a day after firing Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette. Baltimore staggered through its worst season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954, losing a franchise-record 115 games. The club wants fresh faces to take over a potentially long rebuilding project. Director of Player Development Brian Graham will handle day-to-day oversight of baseball operations while the Orioles search for Duquette’s successor.