The latest on a few teams’ Division Series pitching plans:
- The Athletics are turning the ball over to right-hander Frankie Montas for this afternoon’s must-win Game 4 against the Astros, per various reporters (including Shayna Rubin of the San Jose Mercury News). The 27-year-old was the best pitcher on staff in 2019 before an 80-game suspension following a positive PED test derailed his season. Montas hasn’t performed anywhere close to last year’s level in 2020, although he continues to pump high-90’s heat and strike batters out at a high rate.
- The Astros haven’t yet named their opposing starter for Game 4. Manager Dusty Baker didn’t rule out turning the ball over to veteran Zack Greinke, who has been dealing with some arm soreness, notes Jason Beck of MLB.com. The 36-year-old ran in the outfield before yesterday’s game but did not throw, reported Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). If Greinke doesn’t go, fellow righty Cristian Javier would be the logical choice to get the ball. [UPDATE: Greinke will get the ball for this afternoon’s potential clincher, via Jake Kaplan of the Athletic and others].
- The Padres finalized their rotation plans for what they hope will be the next two games against the Dodgers. Young southpaw Adrián Morejón will go in tonight’s Game 3, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link), with righty Chris Paddack scheduled for a potential Game 4. Of course, there’ll only be a fourth game if San Diego can stave off elimination tonight with L.A. leading the best-of-five set two games to none.
- The Rays, meanwhile, are planning to go to an opener to kick off tonight’s Game 4 against the Yankees. Reliever Ryan Thompson will get the ball to start (via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). Presumably, the sidearmer will be backed up by lefty Ryan Yarbrough, who has shown he’s comfortable providing bulk innings behind openers over the past two years.