Joe Torre is going to announce his career intentions around Labor Day. My guess is that he’s going to retire. Everyone’s assumption is that Don Mattingly is the heir apparent. Bob Nightengale says think again:
The assumption is that Don Mattingly is heir apparent to replace Joe Torre,but AAA manager Tim Wallach is looming as favorite.
He doesn’t give us any additional context, but knowing how Nightengale rolls (i.e. pretty responsibly and reliably), I’m going to assume this is based on conversations with Dodgers front office people.
The advantage of Wallach over Mattingly? Managerial experience, I’d presume. I don’t want to overstate Mattingly’s recent gaffes as fill-in skipper — they were kind of freaky things — but you can’t ignore them either. More importantly you can’t ignore the growing sense around baseball that front offices prefer guys with some experience running a team. First-time manager stock is at an ebb these days.
Wallach has been the skipper of the Dodgers’ AAA team for a couple of years now. He was the PCL manager of the year last year. Maybe more importantly, he was more directly hired by the Dodgers front office than Mattingly — who sort of came as a package deal with Torre — really was. If Torre goes, so goes Mattingly’s biggest backer, one presumes.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.
Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 14 and now we know why. He injured his right elbow and both hips falling in the shower three weeks ago, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He has had anti-inflammatory shots applied in both areas and he’ll be be shut down from pitching for a few more days.
Iglesias might not be ready for Opening Day, according to manager Bryan Price. Iglesias, however, thinks otherwise. He said, “I’m going to be OK. I’m probably going to throw one bullpen, and after that, mentally and physically, I’ll be ready to join the season and compete.”
Price said throughout the offseason that he intended to pick his closer according to the matchups rather than naming one official closer. As a result, this injury likely doesn’t change much except that Michael Lorenzen, Drew Storen, and Tony Cingrani may get a few more early season save chances if Iglesias doesn’t start the season on time.
Iglesias, 27, finished last season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings across five starts and 32 relief appearances.