The Oakland Athletics tabbed left-hander Sean Manaea to start the American League wild-card game against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
Manaea missed most of the season after left shoulder surgery, but he has been superb since returning to the majors. He went 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA in five starts, posting 30 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings, while giving up just 16 hits and seven walks.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin selected Manaea over right-hander Mike Fiers, who went 15-4 with a 3.90 ERA this year and threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds.
Right-hander Charlie Morton (16-6, 3.05 ERA) will start for the Rays.
—The Los Angeles Angels dismissed pitching coach Doug White and bench coach Josh Paul as the team’s shakeup continues.
General manager Billy Eppler confirmed the departures, which come one day after manager Brad Ausmus was fired after one season.
The 2019 season was White’s lone campaign as the Angels’ pitching coach. The staff ranked 25th in the majors with a 5.12 ERA and suffered a key loss in early July when left-hander Tyler Skaggs died at age 27 due to an overdose.
—The Cincinnati Reds announced that hitting coach Turner Ward will not return to manager David Bell’s coaching staff in 2020.
Ward, 54, joined the Reds last November after three seasons in the same position with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Reds ended the 2019 season ranked 24th in the majors in team batting average (.244), 25th in runs scored (701) and 14th in home runs (227).
—More than 800 fans were injured by foul balls at major league stadiums over the past seven seasons, according to an NBC News investigation.
In addition to the death of a grandmother celebrating her 79th birthday at Dodger Stadium in 2018, the 808 injuries from 2012-19 documented in the report include concussions and permanent vision loss.
NBC News said most of the injuries resulted from foul balls, while others came from home runs, balls hit during batting practice and from the scramble to catch balls in the stands.
—Field Level Media