Sticking with Heyman, who reports that people in the Cubs’ organization expect Lou Piniella to retire at the end of the season.
This would shock me about as much as the sun coming up tomorrow morning. The Cubs are on the brink of a massive tear-down, one would assume, and given how weary Piniella has seemed at times this year, it doesn’t seem like he’d be up for that even if the Cubs asked him to come back.
Heyman says Ryne Sandberg is the top choice to replace Piniella. This is something many have said and it makes sense. Heyman thinks that Sandberg could maybe use a year or two as someone else’s bench coach, but I’m sure why that would be the case. It’s not like he hasn’t managed — he’s worked up the ladder in the minors — and it’s not like he doesn’t know his way around Wrigley Field or the Chicago media. Indeed, I can’t think of anyone who would be better prepared to just jump right in than Sandberg.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo is considering pushing Zack Greinke‘s next start to this weekend in order to line him up to start the National League Wild Card game on normal rest, Nick Piecoro reports. The D-Backs open up their final series of the season, a three-game set, on Friday against the Royals in Kansas City. Greinke is currently on track to start Wednesday against the Giants and the team has an off day on Thursday.
Robbie Ray has been the Diamondbacks’ best pitcher by several measures, including ERA (2.95) and K/9 (12.3), but Greinke has been quite good himself (3.18) and has nine postseason starts under his belt in his career. He’s acclimated to postseason pressure. The D-Backs also signed Greinke to a $206.5 million contract two years ago, which is likely a factor.
The D-Backs are still waiting to find out which opponent will fly to Arizona for the Wild Card game on October 4. Currently, the Rockies hold a two-game lead over the Brewers and lead the Cardinals by 2.5 games.