In his weekly column for the Boston
Globe, Nick Cafardo reports that Mark DeRosa’s asking price — once in
the $10 million range — has come down recently.
He follows that up with a pretty innocent statement that the Mets could
“pull the trigger and use him at first base.” This seems like pure
speculation on Cafardo’s part, not backed by any real information or
sources, but now that this specific passage has been noted in a few
places, the possibility should at least be addressed.
The Mets don’t make any sense for
DeRosa. In fact, any first baseman who craves regular playing time and
a multi-year contract doesn’t. The Mets seem committed to using Daniel
Murphy as part of a platoon at first base, ideally with a right-handed
hitting compliment, but possibly with Carlos Delgado on an
The Mets surely hope that whoever fills first
base in 2010 is a mere stopgap until Ike Davis arrives, possibly as
soon as next season. Davis, who turns 23 in March, batted
.298/.381/.524 with 20 home runs and 71 RBI in his first full
professional season in 2009, and was recently named the No. 4 prospect in the organization by Baseball America.
On top of all that, the 34-year-old DeRosa has only played 23 games at first base during his major league career. DeRosa is average or better in the
outfield, according to defensive metrics, but should the Mets sign
Jason Bay, as many expect they will, he wouldn’t find any regular
playing time there, either. DeRosa’s versatility is a huge reason why he is so coveted, but agent Keith Grunewald should be able to do better than the Mets, otherwise he has completely misread his client’s market.
Former first base and infield coach Nick Leyva was promoted to senior advisor of baseball operations on Saturday, per a report by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates also fired third base coach Rick Sofield, with no named successor as of yet.
Leyva joined the Pirates’ organization in the 2011 offseason as a third base coach under manager Clint Hurdle. He shifted to his role as the first base coach and infield coach in 2014, when first base coach Rick Sofield was reassigned to third base prior to the 2015 season. According to Biertempfel, the swap was made in order to optimize the team’s baserunning strategies, all of which appeared to fall flat during the 2015 and 2016 seasons:
The results this season were awful. The Pirates ranked 13th in the National League with a minus-7.0 BsR — a FanGraphs.com metric that measures how many runs above or below league average a team gets via its baserunning.
In 2013 and 2014, the Pirates had one of the top five BsR ratings in the NL. In 2015, they were seventh with a 2.8 BsR.
This season, the Pirates made the second-most outs at third base in the league and were last in taking extra bases on singles and doubles. Their baserunners went from first to third base on hits a league-low 63 times.
Sofield, in particular, highlighted the Pirates’ poor baserunning choices in games like this one, when he sent Sean Rodriguez home too early during the last vestige of a ninth inning rally against the Phillies.
Following the announcement, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington issued a statement elaborating on Leyva’s role within the organization:
We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff. We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP