After Kevin Towers was hired as Diamondbacks general manager earlier this week, it was reported that former interim general manager Jerry DiPoto was resigning from the organization. According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, the D-Backs still haven’t given up hope in retaining him.
Multiple sources are telling Morosi that the Diamondbacks are in “active discussions” with DiPoto about remaining with the organization in a high-level position. One source with close knowledge of the talks believes there is an “80 percent” chance that DiPoto will stay.
Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said late Friday that he was optimistic about the club’s chances of retaining DiPoto.
“I am hopeful he will stay, because I believe he belongs here and we all want him here.”
It might not be the worst career move for DiPoto. While there will be plenty of managerial openings this winter, the same can’t be said for general managers. As Morosi writes, the only logical openings will be with the Mets, and perhaps the Pirates. Neither are ideal landing spots, especially for someone’s first full-time GM gig, so it might not make sense to hold out for a year or two while learning from and collaborating with one of the best baseball minds in the business.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.
Update (4:43 PM ET): In response to this, Manfred said that if a catcher or coach made a seventh mound visit, there would have to be a pitching change (via Fletcher). However, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said (via SB Nation’s Eric Stephen) that the seventh visit cannot trigger a pitching change. The umpire would simply have to prevent the seventh mound visit.