Here are three things around the baseball world we’ll be tracking today…
1. Bichette return looming?
Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette was slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo last night, slotting in as the designated hitter, but that contest was rained out. TSN’s Scott Mitchell tweets that the plan had been for Bichette to DH on Tuesday and play shortstop Wednesday, with a Friday return in Cincinnati possible. The Jays are off tomorrow, while their Triple-A club now has games scheduled both today and tomorrow. Bichette could still DH today, play shortstop tomorrow, and technically return as soon as Friday. The Jays will evaluate Bichette following today’s DH appearance but still hope to get him into a game at shortstop before reinstating him, per Mitchell. The 25-year-old Bichette is enjoying an excellent season at the plate, hitting .321/.352/.494 with 17 home runs, but he’s been out since July 31 due to patellar tendinitis in his right knee.
2. Anderson’s suspension appeal:
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is facing a six-game suspension following the benches-clearing brawl that began when Anderson and Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez got into a fist fight following the latter’s slide into second base. Jim Bowden of The Athletic tweets that Anderson’s appeal is scheduled for tomorrow, barring a settlement at some point today. Within the next day then, we should know whether Anderson will serve that full six-game ban or perhaps a reduced punishment. The two-time All-Star and 2019 AL batting champion is having the worst season of his career at the plate (.240/.285/.286), although in 103 plate appearances since the All-Star break he’s posted a .290/.359/.355 batting line.
3. Dodgers going for 10 in a row:
Earlier this season, it looked as though the Dodgers might be dethroned in the NL West, but their recent play has once again made them a commanding favorite to win their 10th division title 11 years. They’ll send Clayton Kershaw to the mound tonight against the Brewers as they seek their 10th straight victory — the longest active win streak in Major League Baseball at the moment. Kershaw, 35, will be making just his second start since returning from a six-week stay on the injured list. He’s been his usual dominant self when healthy, pitching to a 2.51 ERA with a 27.5% strikeout rate and 6% walk rate in 100 1/3 innings this season. Kershaw currently ranks fourth among active pitchers in strikeouts with 2916 in his career. He trails only Max Scherzer (3340), Justin Verlander (3290) and Zack Greinke (2955) in that regard. Depending on how long Greinke’s recent placement on the IL lasts, Kershaw could move into third place on that esteemed ranking by season’s end.