Sign up today and save up to 67% on a Hartford Courant digital subscription

American League East

Road to playoffs can be long, brutal grind _ or rapid ride

Alex Rios bounced through four organizations and played nearly 1,700 games before he finally appeared in a postseason game with the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night. It hasn't taken Kyle Schwarber or Carlos Correa nearly as long. The Cubs slugger and slick-fielding Astros star headline a wave of youngsters making their playoff debuts this year. But there are also plenty of players that are finally getting a taste of October baseball after years spent toiling on losing clubs. Rios spent most of six seasons with Toronto, and even made a pair of All-Star appearances, but never reached the playoffs. He failed to accomplish it in parts of five seasons with the White Sox, and while...