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.
Giants’ right-hander Mark Melancon is considering surgery for an undisclosed injury, the pitcher told reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. Melancon did not divulge the exact location of the injury, but revealed that it had been plaguing him off and on since the 2012 season and was a separate issue from the right pronator strain that kept him sidelined through much of July and August. Giants’ head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner called the injury day-to-day and has not revealed a timetable for the right-hander’s return, should surgery become necessary.
Melancon, 32, has struggled to replicate the sparkling pitching line he produced with the Pirates and Nationals in 2016. He’s toting a 3.80 ERA through 25 appearances with San Francisco, flanked by a 1.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 23 2/3 innings. His season has been significantly shortened after multiple trips to the disabled list for a right forearm strain, and while he looked to be in line to resume his closing duties this week, the Giants will likely play it safe with the veteran righty to keep him from compromising his health in 2018.
Although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe in nature, it’s clearly intensified over the last few months. Per MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Melancon said he’s “had discomfort every day this season,” though he hopes to continue pitching through the remainder of 2017. The Giants aren’t on the verge of contending by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid end to the 2017 season could help Melancon make some headway as he looks to reclaim his status as the team’s closer next spring.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.