Cito Gaston announced that that next
season will be his last as manager of the Blue Jays. The Toronto staff
have some big changes in store, as hitting coach Gene Tenace will
retire and as mentioned in the previous post, pitching coach Brad
Arnsberg has left to join Brad Mills in Houston. Bruce Walton will take
over as pitching coach while Dwayne Murphy will be the new hitting
coach. Gaston has agreed to a four-year consulting role with the club
following the 2010 season.
Gaston touched on a variety of topics, which Jordan Bastian of MLB.com did a fine job of documenting, but perhaps the most interesting were his comments on Roy Halladay:
“My gut is that I think Doc wants to be on a winning team — whether he
comes back here next year or is going to be gone the next year. I’m
pretty sure that’s what he’s probably going to do, because he’s
probably sitting there looking at A.J. out there pitching, knowing that
that’s where he’d like to be. It’s not about money with Doc. It’s about
him being on a winning team. I can’t speak for Doc, but my gut feeling
is if he’s here next year with us, then he’ll probably leave after next
year. Hopefully, if that’s the case, then we can get something for him
before he leaves.”
You’re up, Alex Anthopoulos.
The news has gone from bad to worse for Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias, who is scheduled for anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder next Tuesday and expected to be sidelined through the middle of the 2018 season. His MRI came back negative on Wednesday, giving the Dodgers some hope that the 20-year-old’s bout of shoulder inflammation wasn’t masking any structural damage, but the pain lingered several days later and prompted further concern from the club. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late May and placed on the disabled list with left shoulder discomfort several weeks into his assignment. At the major league level, he owned a 5.40 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 through 23 1/3 innings, going 0-2 in five starts with Los Angeles. He made a brief rebound in Triple-A, posting three wins and striking out 17 of 67 batters in 17 1/3 innings before landing on the DL.
It’s a tough blow for the southpaw, who had yet to hit his stride in the majors before getting sidelined with shoulder issues. The Dodgers were especially mindful of this outcome for Urias, and had taken preventative measures to protect his arm by establishing a strict innings limit last season. According to club president Andrew Friedman, there’s a small silver lining here: while Urias’ injury will keep him out of work for at least 12 months, he doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage to his labrum or rotator cuff, and could be facing a much more streamlined recovery process as a result. Whether he’ll be able to rebound once he takes the mound again remains to be seen.
Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.
The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.
While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.