Here’s the latest from MLB’s Central divisions:
- Cleveland has come up as a speculative trade destination for Toronto’s Josh Donaldson, and if the Indians acquire him or another third baseman this month, it would mean shifting Jose Ramirez from the hot corner to second base. However, manager Terry Francona threw some cold water on a potential in-season position change for Ramirez on Sunday, telling Jordan Bastian of MLB.com: “I know it sounds good on paper and it even sounds good to me on paper. There’s other things you have to think about other than just numbers.” Francona added that Ramirez hasn’t worked out at second base this season, which he posited may make the superstar more susceptible to an injury, and suggested switching positions at this juncture could throw Ramirez off track during an MVP-caliber season. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting Ramirez did rack up significant experience at the keystone last year, when he appeared in 71 games at the position. Incumbent second base starter Jason Kipnis has appeared in 118 games there this season, but he has limped to a .216/.305/.345 line in 493 plate appearances, leading to the possibility of the Tribe upgrading at that spot.
- The right knee contusion that sent Reds first baseman Joey Votto to the disabled list on Aug. 17 is “way worse” than the team originally thought, manager Jim Riggleman told Matthew Martell of MLB.com and other reporters Sunday. As such, Votto may not be ready to come off the DL when he’s first eligible, per Riggleman, though he did add that the 34-year-old has made notable progress since he landed on the shelf. Votto incurred the injury on a hit by pitch from Nationals reliever Ryan Madson.
- Beginning Friday, the Cubs will employ a six-man rotation, at least temporarily, manager Joe Maddon said Sunday (via Bruce Levine of 670 The Score). Alec Mills will stay among the starting staff after turning in a solid outing against Cincinnati this past Friday, and lefty Mike Montgomery will soon come off the DL – where he has been since Aug. 17 because of shoulder inflammation – to rejoin the group. With the Cubs amid a stretch in which they’re playing 23 straight games without an off day, the decision will provide a respite for top starters Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana as the playoffs approach.