Bochy reserves right to sit Posey to win batting crown


Bochy reserves right to sit Posey to win batting crown

SAN DIEGO -- Major League Baseball's official statistics still show Melky Cabrera as the leader in the NL batting race with a .346 average, and it's no mistake. Cabrera will remain qualified until after the 162nd and final game, when he'll finish one plate appearance short.

As as you're no doubt aware, Major League Baseball approved Cabrera's request to amend Rule 10.22(a) so that he won't be considered qualified by adding an extra hitless at-bat to his statistics.

So the batting race is an actual race -- and Buster Posey is leading it.

Posey passed the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen on Thursday and entered Friday's game with a .333 average (.33268, to be more precise). McCutchen entered with a .332 average (.33158). He's now down to .330 after going 0 for 2 against the Reds. (Homer Bailey tossed a no-hitter by the way)

Posey is in the lineup tonight and will play regularly down this final week, although Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he'd rest his cleanup hitter on Sunday.

And Bochy could face an interesting choice in Wednesday's final regular-season game, since the Pirates will be done several hours before the Giants take the field at Dodger Stadium.

Would Bochy sit Posey with a slight lead?

"I definitely have that right, I'll say that," Bochy said.

If Bochy did sit Posey with a lead, it wouldn't sit too well with others around baseball. But it wouldn't be the first time controversy accompanied the final leg of a batting race. Remember Jose Reyes, bunting for a base hit and then leaving the game last year?

This goes back a lot further, though. Ty Cobb sat out to avoid losing any ground to Shoeless Joe Jackson. Wade Boggs also strategically sat down the stretch.

Then there is Ted Williams, who was hitting .39955 -- .400 when rounded up -- entering the final game of the 1941 season. He chose to play both ends of a doubleheader, went 6 for 8 and ended with the iconic .406 mark that is so well remembered.

Now that's how you go out.

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”