THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Thursday, October 4, 2018
MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell says he will open the National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies with a bullpen day on the mound.
The Rockies are turning to Antonio Senzatela to start Game 1 at Miller Park on Thursday. The right-hander is 6-6 with a 4.38 ERA in 23 games, including 13 starts.
Counsell says he hasn't decided the order of relievers he'll use in the series opener. The bullpen is a strength for the Brewers, who will have had two days rest after beating the Chicago Cubs on Monday in a tiebreaking game for the NL Central. Counsell says right-hander Jhoulys Chacin will start Game 2 on Friday. Chacin has been the team's best starter after going 15-8 with a 3.50 ERA in 35 starts in his first season in Milwaukee.
Manager Bud Black says he's leaning toward starting Tyler Anderson (7-9, 4.55) in the second game. After a day off Saturday, Black says he'll start either German Marquez (14-11, 3.77) or Kyle Freeland (17-7, 2.85) in Game 3 on Sunday.
DAVIS NOT ASSURED SPOT ON INDIANS' ALDS ROSTER CLEVELAND
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.
Many of the other tough decisions were made days ago, and now Francona and his coaching staff have to decide whether to keep Davis as the club's sixth outfielder or go with Gonzalez, who can play anywhere in the infield.
"Gonzie gives you a little bit of a safety net if something happens to somebody," Francona said. "Raj gives you the ability to maybe influence the game with his legs, as we've seen. So, we're all just trying to figure out what's the right thing to do." Davis has also shown he can influence a game - and maybe a season - with his bat.
The veteran is best known for hitting a tying two-run home run in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs. Davis's dramatic line-drive homer off closer Aroldis Chapman pulled the Indians even before they eventually lost in 10 innings as the Cubs ended their 106-year Series title drought.
Davis spent last season with Oakland and Boston before resigning with Cleveland as a free agent in February. He batted .224 with 21 stolen bases in a reserve role.
Gonzalez has been cleared from concussion protocol after he was struck in the helmet with a pitch last week in Chicago. The 27year-old played in 81 games for the Indians and batted .265 with one homer and 16 RBIs.
Francona's decision could come down to whether it's more important to have an extra infielder if either all-star Francisco Lindor or Jose Ramirez gets hurt.
Gonzalez can play shortstop or second base.
RUSSELL OUT 40 GAMES UNDER DOMESTIC-VIOLENCE POLICY CHICAGO
Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell has accepted a 40-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the ban in a statement Wednesday. MLB had been investigating domestic violence allegations against Russell made by his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy. Russell had denied the accusations, which Reidy detailed in a blog post in September.
Russell's unpaid suspension includes the 11 regular-season games he missed after being placed on administrative leave Sept. 21. Russell will be eligible to return on May 3 against St. Louis, barring any postponements, and he will not appeal the suspension.
He will also participate in an evaluation and treatment program.
The Cubs' season ended Tuesday with a 2-1, 13-inning defeat to the Colorado Rockies in the NL wild-card game. Russell was not active for the game. On Wednesday, the Cubs said Joe Maddon will return for a fifth season as manager.
SHOWALTER FIRED BY ORIOLES AFTER NIGHTMARE SEASON BALTIMORE
Buck Showalter has been fired as manager of the Orioles, who made three playoff appearances under his guidance but this year staggered through the worst season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.
A three-time AL Manager of the Year, Showalter ranks second on the Orioles' career list with 669 victories, trailing Earl Weaver. He took over in August, 2010, and orchestrated the resurgence of a team that suffered through 14 straight losing seasons.
Once hailed for making baseball in Baltimore relevant again, the 62-year-old Showalter is out of a job after a nightmare season in which the Orioles finished 47-115, 61 games behind Boston in the AL East.
On Wednesday night, the Orioles fired executive vice-president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who launched a belated rebuilding effort in July after the team that failed miserably from the start.
The Rockies celebrate defeating the Cubs 2-1 in 13 innings to win the NL Wild Card Game on Tuesday.
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