Jon Heyman’s latest SI column is chock full ‘o goodness:
It’s not in writing but Don Mattingly is basically Joe Torre’s heir-apparent in Los Angeles. Of course, most folks say he was the heir-apparent in New York too, but Torre leaving under a cloud and Mattingly’s domestic issues put a wrench in all of that. Here’s hoping that Mattingly, one of the game’s truly good guys, gets the gig in 2011 in a nice smooth transition.
Heyman talks about how amazing Mariano Rivera has been in the postseason. How he hasn’t discounted all of the numbers he cites for Rivera’s blatant spitballing is beyond me. I also hear that Rivera was in on that whole balloon boy scam too, so we should even be more skeptical.
Jim Riggleman is likely going to get the Nats job on a full time basis. Not very inspired — I had argued in favor of bringing in a new face — but maybe it’s best to keep some continuity until the team is truly on the upswing. I would be less than inspired if I were a Nats’ fan, but it’s a defensible decision, especially given how much change there has been in the front office. Give the new folks some time to get comfy with the team before making a move.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.