Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News says that while the Giants would welcome Bengie Molina back, they only want to give him a single year and don’t want to give him a raise. Molina, on the other hand, wants more money and two years. Given that Buster Posey is waiting in the wings in San Francisco there’s no reason for the Giants to make anything approaching that kind of a commitment to Molina. And of course, given the Law of Conservation of Molinas, there will always be a roster spot for Bengie someplace else, so he’s as good as gone. Possibly to the Mets, Baggarly thinks.
Not that San Francisco is completely sold on Buster Posey yet. For reasons that remain totally baffling, the Giants sent him to the Arizona Fall League this year, where he has struggled mightily. This, according to ESPN’s Jason Grey, is because he simply looks worn out, which is to be expected after a season behind the plate in San Jose, Fresno and San Francisco. A great season to boot, which makes one wonder why on Earth Brian Sabean feels it necessary to put more innings on the knees and back of his top prospect. The kid has nothing to prove apart from his mortality and injury recovery prowess, but I guess Sabean wants to test that stuff too.
Based on Sabean’s history, it’s probably also because he thinks any player under 30 is still too green to contribute at the big league level and needs some seasoning. This is consistent with Baggarly’s speculation that the Giants are thinking about bringing in Pudge Rodriguez in the event Molina walks. If they do, I’d bet you an order of garlic fries and an Anchor Steam that Rodriguez, and not Posey, gets the Opening Day start.
The Tigers just announced that they will not be bringing Brad Ausmus back as manager in 2018. His contract was going to be up at the end of this season and they have decided not to renew it. Ausmus and his staff will manage the club for the final week of the season.
In the press release announcing the move, Tigers GM Al Avila said “[a]s we transition the ballclub in a new direction, I feel it’s best that we have a new approach and a fresh start with the manager position.” He went on to praise Ausmus for “doing an admirable job under difficult circumstances, especially this season,” a clear reference to the club’s decision at mid-season to blow things up. Justin Verlander and J.D. Martinez were traded in July and August, as were some more minor players. The club is clearly embarking on a lengthy rebuild of which Ausmus, who was brought in four years ago to lead a contending team, will not be a part.
In his four seasons at the helm the Tigers are 312-325. He won 90 games and the AL Central in his first season in 2014, but the Tigers were swept out of the ALDS in three games. In the past three seasons they finished fifth, second and will either finish in fourth or fifth this year. Injuries and poor bullpens have been the biggest problem, but clearly this Tigers team was supposed to win more over the past four years.
It’s unclear what direction the Tigers will take in their managerial search, but it’s clear they’re going to go outside of the organization, as Avila said in his statement that the status of the current coaching staff will be contingent on the wishes of whatever new manager they hire.
Happy trails, Brad Ausmus. Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager is now Baseball’s Most Handsome Unemployed coach.
Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that the Mets are going to give Noah Syndergaard the start for tomorrow’s game. But here’s the hitch: he’ll only get one inning and then Matt Harvey will enter in the second inning and go from there. Harvey was originally scheduled to take the start. Syndergaard, of course, has been out since April. Harvey has been pitching under the loosest definition of the term.
I can see, if they are intent on putting Syndergaard in a real game, having him start one rather than come in out of the bullpen for purposes of preparation and routine. At the same time, however, if he’s only able to throw one inning at this point, with a little over a week left in the season, what’s the point of him pitching at all? As for Harvey relieving: he’s kind of a mess right now. Is he someone whose routine you really want to throw off?
I guess this doesn’t hurt anything — at least as long as Syndergaard doesn’t hurt himself throwing in a meaningless game at the end of the season — but it certainly is odd. It makes me wonder if this is some sort of “Dave” or “Moon Over Parador” situation in which the Mets are just trying to create the impression that Syndergaard is still alive.
Could Kevin Klein pitch an inning? Richard Dreyfuss?