Jordan Bastian of MLB.com writes that the Indians are "strongly considering" playing Carlos Santana in left field in Game 3 of the World Series against the Cubs.
Bastian wrote this after speaking with Indians president Chris Antonetti, manager Terry Francona, and bench coach Brad Mills, so it sounds like this could actually happen. Santana worked out in left field on Thursday in preparation for the possible assignment. He's likely to be a big liability defensively, but the Indians are willing to take that hit with the designated hitter unavailable under National League rules. Santana is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the World Series and is hitting .143/.250/.314 during the postseason.
Indians manager Terry Francona said Thursday that he's still weighing over whether to use Carlos Santana in left field.
The Indians won't have the luxury of the designated hitter spot for Games 3, 4, and 5 under National League rules in Chicago, so they are willing to sacrifice some defense to potentially keep Santana in the lineup. The plan calls for him to take some fly balls in left field during a workout on Thursday night. Santana has played just one game in the outfield in the majors, back in 2012.
Cubs president Theo Epstein said Thursday afternoon that Kyle Schwarber is not medically cleared to play left field.
Schwarber is coming off knee surgery and doctors feel that there's too much risk involved with rushing him back to play the field. While he served as the designated hitter for the first two games in Cleveland, he'll be limited to pinch-hitting duties for the next three games in Chicago. The Cubs were hoping for better news, but Schwarber is still capable of making an impact off the bench.
Shawn Tolleson has elected to become a free agent.
Tolleson chose to test the open market rather than accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock. The 28-year-old notched 35 saves last season, but he lost his closer gig early on this year and had a miserable 7.68 ERA over 37 appearances. He also spent some time in the minors and missed time with a back injury. He'll hope for a fresh start elsewhere.
Reds purchased the contract of RHP Ariel Hernandez from High-A Daytona.
He'll take the 40-man roster spot left vacant by John Lamb's recent DFA. Hernandez, a 24-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic, posted a 2.18 ERA, 1.097 WHIP, and 74/39 K/BB ratio in 62 innings of relief this summer between Low-A and High-A ball. He could challenge for a bullpen spot in Cincinnati sometime next year.