Though he’s probably a better option than some of the guys the Royals and Mets will trot out to the mound this season, Greg Maddux has apparently decided that his retirement is going to stick. Instead, he’s going to go work for the Cubs as a special assistant to Jim Hendry.
Maddux has long been thought of as a guy who could be brilliant a pitching coach. Unlike a lot of superstars who can’t readily translate what allows them to perform their craft to mere mortals, Maddux has a reputation as being an excellent teacher in the dugout. Young pitchers in San Diego spoke particularly highly of his counsel.
One wonders if this your standard-issue spring training roving instructor assignment for Maddux or if he’s trying coaching on for size and will follow his brother into the biz one day himself.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.