As if the Indians needed another rotation injury question mark, ace Corey Kluber left yesterday’s contest with a groin strain. Fortunately, the matter does not appear to be of major concern, as MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kluber was pulled mostly for precautionary reasons — with the division already in hand, Cleveland has little reason to push him. Instead, manager Terry Francona suggested, the aim is “to get him healthy” with the postseason beckoning.
Here’s more from the American League:
- Angels righty Garrett Richards will test his stem-cell-bolstered elbow out against live batters for the first time tomorrow, as Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Richards is brimming with confidence in a joint that once seemed certain to cost him all of the 2017 season after already taking most of 2016. Now, he says, “I feel like I could go pitch in a game right now.” Assuming the one-inning simulated game goes well, Richards will throw two instructional league innings and begin ramping up his innings before shutting things back down for what he hopes will largely be a normal winter.
- While a postseason return to the Red Sox for Pablo Sandoval seems rather implausible, manager John Farrell said it isn’t off the table entirely in an appearance on MLB Network on Sirius XM (Twitter link). “He’s done a very good job in rehab,” Farrell said of Sandoval. “In the event of an injury he could be part of the conversation.” Turning to the 30-year-old third baseman, who has only appeared in three games this year and struggled badly ever since coming to Boston, would obviously be something of a last-ditch move. But it’s also quite promising to see that Sandoval is even drawing this kind of consideration, as it suggests that the team is optimistic in his progress — and could perhaps yet receive from value from his sizable contract.
- Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos is ready for an intrasquad game as he continues to work back from a broken bone in his hand, as MLB.com’s Kyle Beery reports. The 24-year-old may yet make it back by the end of the regular season, skipper Brad Ausmus said, which would represent a nice addition if the team is still pushing for a Wild Card spot. Castellanos has broken out this year with a .286/.331/.500 batting line and 18 home runs over 432 plate appearances, which has not only firmly planted him in the team’s plans for the coming seasons but has also set him up nicely for his first season of arbitration eligibility.