Report: Joe Torre would listen if Mets came calling

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You just knew this was coming.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, “a person close to” Joe Torre says the Mets might be the “only team” that could lure the 70-year-old away from retirement.

“The
Mets are certainly an inviting situation because they have a lot better
personnel than their record shows,” the person close to Torre said.
“The injuries have hurt them.”

“Money
shouldn’t be a factor for the Mets if they really want [Torre],” the
person close to Torre said. “You look at what their attendance figures
are, and I’m sure Joe would build some excitement among the fans, which
is definitely needed there.”

Just the other day, Jon Heyman of SI.com told us that the Mets see ticket sales as a key issue,
so the possibility shouldn’t be discounted entirely. According to Puma,
Wally Backman remains the favorite to be the Mets’ next manager, but
some question whether he is ready to lead a major league team. One
scenario, Puma reports, is that Backman would be groomed for the job as a
bench coach to Torre, similar to Don Mattingly in Los Angeles.

Hiring
Torre would certainly create some temporary buzz in New York, but he
wouldn’t re-invigorate the fanbase like Bobby Valentine would, nor does
he have any of that fiery, impassioned spiritedness that many columnists
claim the Mets so desperately need. Besides, the Mets aren’t likely to be a contender next season and they will probably balk at his asking price.

Corey Knebel sets modern record for consecutive appearances with a strikeout

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Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.

Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.

Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.

Joey Votto thinks he can win the Home Run Derby, but hasn’t been invited yet

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Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.

In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”

Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.

Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.