Angels ace Garrett Richards tossed a simulated inning against live hitters on Wednesday, writes Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. The injured Halos ace reported that he felt good while warming up and while on the mound, where he threw 20 pitches, including fastballs, curveballs and sliders. Richards was diagnosed with a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament back in May but has been undergoing stem cell treatment in hopes to avoid Tommy John surgery, knowing that if he’d simply undergone TJ back in May, he’d have been a long shot to contribute much in 2017 anyhow. If he’s able to successfully avoid the procedure via the stem cell treatments, then Richards could conceivably contribute to the Halos for much, if not all of the 2017 campaign. Per Fletcher, he’ll head to the instructional league and make three appearances there, building up to 50 pitches before followup testing to determine whether he can have a normal offseason and be expected to pitch next year. More from the AL West… Wednesday likely marked Doug Fister’s last start as a member of the Astros, writes Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle, noting that the impending free agent’s September was a dreadful month. Houston lost each of Fister’s final seven starts, Kaplan points out, and the righty surrendered 30 earned runs across 24 innings in his final month of the year (11.74 ERA). That’s hardly the note on which any pitcher wants to end a season, especially when things had been going fairly well for him for much of the season. Fister carried an ERA in the mid-3.00s throughout the entire summer but will conclude his 2016 campaign with a 4.64 ERA in 180 1/3 innings as he looks to improve upon the one-year, $7MM pact he signed with the ’Stros last winter
Robinson Cano launched a three-run homer in the first inning — his ninth against Houston in 19 games this year — off struggling starter Doug Fister, and Seth Smith capped a three-run second inning with a two-run single to send Seattle to a 12-4 rout on Wednesday afternoon in the final regular-season game of the year at Minute Maid Park.
Tyler Austin’s late home run delayed a potential Red Sox celebration while keeping his club alive in the playoff chase for at least one more evening, as the rookie’s two-run shot lifted the Yankees to a 6-4 victory on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
The Blue Jays took one step closer to securing an American League postseason berth, and home-field advantage in a potential AL Wild Card Game, by topping the Orioles, 5-1, on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.
Free agent infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who hosted a showcase attended by roughly two-thirds of the league earlier this month, is setting up private workouts with “about a half-dozen” clubs, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Currently known to have a private audition in the works are the Red Sox, Cardinals, Astros and Marlins, according to Heyman. Gurriel, the younger brother of Astros infielder Yulieksi Gurriel, was declared a free agent in early August and is considered one of the better all-around prospects on the international market. He’s currently subject to international bonus pools, but that’ll change next month on Oct. 19 when Gurriel turns 23. At that point, he’ll be free to sign with any MLB club for any amount, so the Red Sox will have a shot at him even though they’re currently restricted in their signings of players that are subject to international bonus restrictions (i.e. players that are under 23 and/or have fewer than five years of professional experience). Gurriel is a career .277/.362/.426 hitter in just under 1100 plate appearances in Cuba’s top professional league, although those numbers include some lackluster stats from his years as a teenager
Mets left-handed starter Steven Matz will undergo season-ending surgery next week at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York to remove a bone spur from his left elbow, the team announced before Tuesday’s game against the Marlins.
The Dodgers made a late switch of starting pitchers for the first two games of their series against the Padres, which starts on Tuesday night, and manager Dave Roberts added further intrigue by returning rookie Julio Urias to the rotation while the club looks for a fourth starter for the postseason.
With an American League Central title in the Indians’ reach, ace Corey Kluber was forced to exit Monday’s game against the Tigers.
The Tigers, with their season on the line, will turn back to Nick Castellanos to give them an offensive boost for the stretch run. The team activated the slugging third baseman from the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday’s game against the Indians following a seven-week absence due to a fractured left hand.
Vin Scully’s final broadcast on Sunday will be simulcast in its entirety on SPECTRUM SportsNetLA, KTLA and AM 570 LA Sports. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. PT.