LEADING OFF: Trevor Bauer back on bump for Cleveland
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
BACK ON THE BUMP
Trevor Bauer returns to the mound for AL Central champion Cleveland when the Indians host Boston in a potential playoff preview. Bauer has been sidelined with a broken right leg since he was struck by a line drive off the bat of White Sox slugger Jose Abreu on Aug. 11. The right-hander was diagnosed with a stress fracture of his fibula. Indians manager Terry Francona said Bauer will go a “couple of innings” and then throw in the bullpen to increase his pitch count. He will be relieved by rookie Shane Bieber. Francona wants Bauer to make two additional starts during the regular season and be in the playoff rotation. Selected to his first All-Star team this season, Bauer is 12-6 with a 2.22 ERA in 25 starts. Red Sox ace Chris Sale (12-4, 1.92 ERA), also rebuilding arm strength following an injury, is expected to throw about 65 pitches.
CLOSE TO RETURNING
Detroit’s Niko Goodrum (quad) and third baseman Jeimer Candelario (back) took grounders before Thursday’s game against the Kansas City Royals. Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said Candelario could play as soon as Saturday, and Goodrum could possibly returning Monday.
READY IN THE BULLPEN
Boston Red Sox right hander Matt Barnes was available out of the bullpen Thursday against the New York Yankees for the first time in weeks. Barnes hasn’t pitched since Sept. 3 because of left hip inflammation. Boston manager Alex Cora said he wouldn’t put Barnes in a high-leverage situation right away.
STAYING THE COURSE
Cincinnati Reds manager Jim Riggleman doesn’t plan on changing his lineup just because the Reds are playing Miami and Kanas City, last place in their respective divisions. Riggleman said he will continue using offensive leaders Gennet, Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Jose Peraza. “I don’t anticipate looking at too many different lineups,” Riggleman said. “I’ve been using them as I have to this point.”