We knew the Blue Jays’ front office was a mess, but Ken Rosenthal explains that the clubhouse is no better:
The Blue Jays’ rehiring of manager Cito Gaston last season started out as a feel-good story, a link to the franchise’s back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and ’93.
A mere 15 months later, the mood inside the Jays’ clubhouse has turned decidedly sour.
The players are fed up with Gaston and do not want him to return next season, according to multiple major-league sources.
“It’s nearly a mutiny right now,” one source says. “He has lost the entire team.”
According to Rosenthal, players are complaining about Gaston’s “old-school approach” and lack of communication, and that “certain Jays veterans bristle over reduced playing time.”
Those seem like an odd combination of complaints to me. Usually veterans are the beneficiaries of a manager with an old-school approach. As in they get a lot of undeserved playing time simply because they’re veterans. Scanning the Jays’ roster, however, doesn’t reveal anyone who should be getting PT but isn’t. At least no glaring examples, and certainly no veterans. Cito has a mediocre team and he’s deploying it in a more or less reasonable manner in my eyes.
But you still have to communicate to your players. And if the players hate him, even unreasonably so, it doesn’t matter how well he handles playing time. A manager who doesn’t have his team’s confidence is 100% assured to be an ex-manager, because you can’t just go out and get new players.
Silver lining: it seems inevitable that J.P. Ricciardi is going to be fired. If he is, it will be easier to hire a good replacement G.M. if he’s also going to be allowed to bring in his own field manager rather than be stuck with old Cito. If I’m running the Jays I fire them both and start fresh.
Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz was of limited utility during the postseason as he began experiencing soreness in his left forearm near the end of the 2016 season. There was some thought that he might need offseason surgery but Pomeranz was examined by doctors who determined that he does not need any surgery, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said:
He has seen the doctor, the doctor looked at him. I can’t really disclose totally everything that was done, but the doctor said no surgical procedure and the doctor feels he will be ready for next spring training for us.
Pomeranz, 27, finished the 2016 regular season with an aggregate 3.32 ERA and a 186/65 K/BB ratio in 170 2/3 innings between the Padres and Red Sox. He operated out of the bullpen during the playoffs, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox acquired Pomeranz in a trade with the Padres in July. It was a trade that earned Padres GM A.J. Preller a 30-day suspension from Major League Baseball, as he reportedly kept two sets of medical records in order to deceive trade partners.
After managing the Pirates’ Double-A affiliate to a 76-64 record this past season, the organization has promoted Joey Cora to third base coach for the major league club, Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror reports. The Pirates fired previous third base coach Rick Sofield over the weekend.
Cora, 51, has plenty of coaching experience since retiring as a player in 1998. In the majors, he coached for the White Sox from 2004-11 and for the Marlins in 2012.
Cora briefly served as interim manager for the Marlins in 2012 when Ozzie Guillen was suspended, but has otherwise not been given a managerial position yet. He interviewed with the Brewers after the 2010 season and was a finalist but the organization ultimately chose Ron Roenicke. It’s easy to see Cora being a manager in the very near future, however.