As the Tribune’s Paul Sullivan notes, “The Cubs may be the only team in history to bring their new hitting coach to
town for an introductory news conference while letting their most
prominent free agent signee do his talking over the phone.” But a news conference it was, and Rudy Jaramillo spoke about his guru status. Mostly by denying that he’s a guru, which is smart. But still, is there a hitting coach in baseball who will be under more scrutiny than Jaramillo will be this season?
In addition, the Cubs confirmed that they are looking at Jermaine Dye, but if they brought him in he’d be a utility player of sorts, platooning with Fukudome and backing up Alfonso Soriano and Derrek Lee.
I didn’t like the idea of Dye in San Diego where he’d presumably expect to play every day (and, if some of you readers are correct, the Padres would want him to play every day in order to showcase him for a midseason trade). An uber-corner backup job, however, may be more fitting. Especially with the Cubs, from Dye’s perspective, considering he lives in Chicago anyway.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.