Link-O-Rama: Six more starts for Chamberlain

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* After meeting with manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland to discuss his workload, Joba Chamberlain is scheduled to make six more starts this season. Chamberlain has averaged 5.5 innings per start so far, and if that continues he’ll end up throwing 160 innings spread over 29 starts after logging 100 innings between the rotation and bullpen last season.
* Ichiro Suzuki needs just 19 hits during the Mariners’ final 42 games to become the first player in baseball history with nine consecutive 200-hit seasons. He’s currently tied with Wee Willie Keeler, who also had eight straight 200-hit campaigns from 1894 to 1901. Pete Rose is the all-time leader with ten 200-hit seasons, although he never had more than three in a row.
* Jon Garland has cleared waivers, so contenders looking for some back-of-the-rotation help are free to deal for him. However, he’s still owed about $2 million this season and comes along with a $10 million team option or $2.5 million buyout for 2010, which is a hefty price tag for someone with a 6-11 record, 4.42 ERA, and 74/50 K/BB ratio in 154.2 innings.
* Joey Votto is back in the Reds’ lineup today after leaving yesterday’s game in the first inning with blurred vision.
* Beloved broadcaster Jerry Remy will return to the Red Sox’s television booth Friday after being treated for both cancer and depression.

Giants sign catcher Nick Hundley

DENVER, CO - JUNE 07:  Nick Hundley #4 of the Colorado Rockies takes an at bat against the Miami Marlins at Coors Field on June 7, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that the Giants have signed catcher Nick Hundley. It’s a major league deal worth $2 million.

Hundley, who is 33, but who seems like he’s been in the bigs for about 27 years, hit .260/.320/.439 with 10 homers in 83 games for the Rockies last season. Obviously he will be the backup given the presence of Buster Posey.

MLB reorganizes its diversity and social responsibility leadership structure

Billy Bean
Associated Press
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Major League Baseball has experienced inconsistent progress in its efforts at promoting diversity and social responsibility in recent years despite making it a league priority.  Today it has announced several changes in its leadership structure in these areas, with Commissioner Manfred saying, “As the sport of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, we have a responsibility to uphold and honor their legacies, especially in ensuring that our sport and business practices are as inclusive, diverse and socially-conscious as possible.”

To that end:

  • Billy Bean has been promoted to Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner. This is a newly-created and elevated position in which Bean will continue his efforts at promoting human rights issues important to Major League Baseball, with a particular focus on LGBT and anti-bullying efforts. He has done such work since 2014 as its Ambassador for Inclusion, but putting him at the vice presidential level and having him answer directly to Commissioner Manfred increases his profile and that of his mission;
  • Renée Tirado, has been promoted to Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion. Tirado had previously served as Senior Director of Recruitment. She will direct the implementation of recruitment plans and procedures to support MLB’s staffing objectives and will oversee MLB’s Diversity Pipeline Program. As you may recall, Major League Baseball has struggled mightily in these effort in recent years, and has admitted as much; and
  • Melanie LeGrande has been promoted to Vice President of Social Responsibility. She previously served as MLB’s Director of Community Affairs. Her job will be to develop and enhance the initiatives that support MLB’s position in the community and oversee MLB’s community investments, nonprofit/non-governmental organization partnerships, large-scale disaster relief efforts and employee volunteer engagement.

Manfred said, “the promotions of Billy, Renée and Melanie reflect our commitment to have strong, innovative leadership in place that aligns our industry objectives with a desire to be effective corporate citizens.”

While all of these are current employees who have served in roughly similar roles. A business’ organizational chart says much about how much that business values various functions and initiatives. In keeping with Manfred’s comments, that all three of these people have been promoted to the vice presidential level is a strong signal from MLB about what it wants.

Now all it has to do is follow through and get what it wants.