There was some Twitter-glee yesterday as some New York writers were saying some variation of “the Mets started asking permission to speak to GM candidates but no one will grant them permission.”
Look, I love bashing the Mets as much as anyone, but that seems kind of crazy. It had been, what, one day? And as far as I could tell the Mets had asked the Marlins if they could talk to any number of executives who they probably want to keep and who are under contract for several years. This is not worthy of Mets criticism. They’ll do plenty of things this winter that are, however, so let’s all just hold our fire, OK?
And anyway, according to Jerry Crasnick at least one Marlins exec is still in the running: Assistant GM Dan Jennings. While it had been reported that he was in the group of people the Marlins wanted to declare off limits, Crasnick says that Jennings’ contract allows him to interview with the Mets without the Marlins’ consent. Assuming he wants the job.
I don’t know much about Jennings, but if you control for Jeff Loria, the Marlins front office is a pretty sharp and efficient outfit. They usually manage to field a competitive team on scant resources and that takes some talent. Jennings is part of that equation. He’s probably a good candidate.
And if you’re Jennings, you may be one of the few executives from another team for whom going to work for Jeff Wilpon won’t be that big of a problem. Because, again, Loria.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.