Jon Heyman has a lot of managerial speculation in his latest column. One of the fun ones: while it’s highly unlikely Joe Girardi won’t be back in New York, if he does bolt, “Bobby Valentine likely would be one candidate to replace him in the Bronx.”
I just love this because it proves that we cannot go a single week without hearing some Bobby Valentine speculation. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if his name came up for vacancies with the Seattle Pilots, the Baltimore Terrapins and the Cleveland Spiders.
In other news, Heyman says that while Ken Macha is likely out as Brewers’ manager, Willie Randolph is not a candidate to replace him.
None of us can know what happens on the inside of a major league clubhouse, but I’d be curious to hear the reason why he’s not considered a candidate. While he left the Mets under a cloud, history, I think, has shown that the people who ousted him — Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel, who reportedly snitched about Randolph’s alleged shortcomings to management — were perhaps a bigger problem.
Personally, I thought Randolph was a decent manager in a bad situation. While he probably did need to go because of all the craziness that was surrounding the Mets at the time, I also think he deserves another chance to manage someplace.
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.
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.