Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Orioles are negotiating with Buck Showalter for their vacancy at manager and appear to be close to a deal.
The O’s cut ties with Dave Trembley in early June after he led the club to a 15-39 start. Juan Samuel was named as interim manager and has done a fine job, going 13-20 with little firepower in baseball’s toughest division.
Former Indians manager Eric Wedge was also interviewed for the opening and apparently impressed some of the Orioles’ higher-ups, but Showalter, a current analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, must have impressed them more. Showalter has managed the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers for parts of 11 seasons and has a 1716-882 lifetime record.
Rosenthal says Showalter could take over for Samuel by Thursday, when the All-Star break concludes.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.
Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.
Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.
Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.