Scott Downs is not the biggest name around, but the Blue Jays’ setup man may be the best reliever available at the moment. And the Jays are apparently asking the moon for him: They told the Yankees it would take Joba Chamberlain and the Red Sox that it would take Casey Kelly or Jose Iglesias.
That’s kind of crazy, even to Yankees fans who are about ready to crucify Joba. Probably even to Yankees fans who don’t want to crucify him but don’t want him pitching in the eighth inning anymore either. I’m not convinced he’s hopeless — his strikeouts are high and his luck on balls in play has been awful — but even if you think so, why on Earth should the Yankees unload him now, when his perceived value is so low?
John Farrell will return to manage the Red Sox next season, provided he is healthy enough to do so, the club announced Sunday morning in a press release.
Torey Lovullo, who has been serving as Boston’s interim manager since Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma, signed a two-year contract to return as Farrell’s bench coach. Lovullo also forfeited his right to pursue another managerial role with the new deal.
Farrell guided the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2013 and the problems with the Red Sox over the last two seasons have been more about roster construction.
Dave Dombrowski took over the front office from Ben Cherington back in mid-August and will try to turn things around this winter.
All of the other coaches on Farrell’s staff will return except first-base coach Arnie Beyeler.
Stephen Piscotty took the brunt of a frightening outfield collision last week at PNC Park, but he only suffered a mild concussion and was cleared for baseball activities a couple days later.
Now he is back in the Cardinals’ starting lineup, batting second and playing right field Sunday in the first half of a doubleheader against the Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field.
Piscotty has an impressive .867 OPS with seven home runs and 39 RBI over his first 62 major league games. He should be a big part of the Cardinals’ postseason push, drawing starts in the corner outfield spots and at first base.
St. Louis will get either the Pirates or Cubs in the NLDS.