Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna gave Toronto fans a scare on Tuesday when he exited the team’s Wild Card game with the trainer, but the 21-year-old told reporters today that he expects to be ready to go for the ALDS on Friday (Twitter link via Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi). Osuna explained that he felt a “stretch” in his shoulder at the time, but doctors informed that there’s no major issue and that he simply needs a couple days of rest. Osuna followed up a dominant rookie campaign with a remarkably similar sophomore effort, posting a 2.68 ERA with 10.0 K/9 against 1.7 BB/9 to go along with 36 saves in 74 innings of work.
More from the AL East…
- Junichi Tazawa’s time with the Red Sox may be coming to an end, writes Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. Once one of the team’s most trusted setup men, Tazawa’s struggles in 2016 have probably left him on the outside looking in when it comes to Boston’s playoff roster, and, as a free agent at season’s end, that would mean he’s pitched his last game in a BoSox uniform (barring a new contract in the offseason, of course). As Drellich points out, Tazawa pitched well against lefties this season, but if the team wants another weapon against left-handed bats, Fernando Abad would be the go-to option. As it stands, Drellich writes that Craig Kimbrel, Brad Ziegler, Koji Uehara, Robbie Ross, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Drew Pomeranz are the likeliest members of the Red Sox to comprise the postseason relief corps. The 30-year-old Tazawa logged a 4.17 ERA with 9.8 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 in 49 2/3 innings this season but struggled for much of the summer after a strong start.
- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski tells Alex Speier of the Boston Globe that when he drafted Rick Porcello as the Tigers’ GM, he expected that Porcello would eventually blossom into a top-of-the-rotation arm. However, while Porcello has reached that status in 2016, Dombrowski explained that the manner in which his right-hander has done so is different than his initial vision. “When we drafted him we thought of him as this flamethrowing top-of-the-rotation type guy,” said Dombrowski. “What he’s done is he’s adjusted to the game.” Dombrowski went on to laud Porcello’s command, stating that he never dreamed it could develop to the point that it has. Porcello himself talked about the difficulties he felt after getting off to a poor start to his Boston tenure, likening last season’s prolonged slump to the one that earned him a demotion back to the minors in his second big league season. He added that he’s not making any assumption that his 2016 success is here to stay: “I don’t want to get complacent and be like, ‘I’ve done this now. I’ve arrived. Now I can stop.’ As appreciative as I am of that recognition, I can’t allow myself to think like that.”
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn’t expect to receive an extension from the team before his contract expires at the end of the 2017 season, writes MLB.com’s Barry Bloom. “I assume things will play out the way they’ve played out for a long time here, where we will go through next year and collective ownership will decide what we want to do as we move forward,” said Cashman, who expects that the same process will be applicable to manager Joe Girardi. “Unless ownership tells me otherwise, there’s that built-in assumption that we play our contracts out and then they’ll decide.”