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 postseaason.
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.
Reds designated LHP John Lamb for assignment.
Lamb underwent surgery to repair a lumbar disc herniation earlier this week and will still be in rehab mode when the 2017 season begins. It was his second major back surgery in the last 10 months. There's still some intriguing raw ability here, however, and the 26-year-old southpaw figures to get scooped up by another team on waivers. Lamb was part of the Johnny Cueto trade package from the Royals in 2015.
According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Christian Bethancourt was recently clocked at 97 mph while facing live hitters in Arizona.
Bethancourt has also been developing a changeup as he prepares to work as a pitcher in the Panama Winter League. The 25-year-old made two relief appearances for the Padres in 2016 and looked pretty good, allowing just one hit over 1 2/3 shutout innings. He hasn't hit well enough to establish himself as a reliable major league catcher, so the Friars will stretch this experiment and try to catch lightning in a bottle with Bethancourt's big arm.
Wilson Ramos' agent Wil Polidor told the Washington Post that his client still plans to seek a four- or five-year contract this winter in free agency.
Ramos suffered ACL and meniscus tears in his right knee on September 26 and his rehab from surgery will extend into the 2017 season, but the 29-year-old catcher is going to try to cash in anyway on a weak free agent market. Ramos acknowledged to reporters earlier this month that his best offers are likely to come from American League teams because he might have to DH some moving forward. This was the second major right knee injury of his career.