The Mariners interview Milt Thompson for their hitting coach gig. This is important. This means something.

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Apparently former Braves players who never really hit all that much are the new inefficiency when it comes to batting coaches: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mariners have interviewed former Brave and — more importantly for our purposes — former Phillies hitting coach Milt Thompson for their opening at hitting coach.  I guess they’re not all that interested in former Brave and former Mariner Jim Presley like the O’s are. A shame, really.

For what it’s worth, Thompson got a lot of credit for being a good hitting coach when the Phillies used to beat the hell out of the ball,  and then got fired when they stopped doing so in the middle of the season.  Of course, a new hitting coach didn’t help them figure out how to hit the hell out of the ball again, so maybe — and I know I’m talikin’ crazy here — the hitting coach doesn’t really matter all that much.
Of course, we know what happens next: the Mariners hire Thompson, and they improve. Which is inevitable, because they just posted one of the worst offensive seasons in modern memory. When they do, Thompson — or whoever gets the job — will be praised as some kind of Svengali and regression to the mean will be ignored like a middle child. Typical.
But hey, timing is everything.

Drew Smyly has a torn UCL, will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that Mariners starter Drew Smyly has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Smyly was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his left elbow at the end of spring training. He had been on the shelf since then, but was throwing bullpen sessions. He was set to throw his first simulated game today, but that was scratched after he said his arm didn’t feel right in his last throwing session. The Mariners called it “a little setback.” A reexamination shows that this is not little, obviously.

The Mariners acquired Smyly in January for outfielder Mallex Smith and two minor leaguers, and were expected to utilize the lefty as a core member of their rotation in 2017. Now he’s going to miss all of this season and, given that he’s on a one-year deal, will be released by the team at the end of the season. Odds are that he’ll be unable to pitch for most of 2018.

Tough break.

Miguel Montero to be designated for assignment

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A play in three acts:

I.

Miguel Montero talks smack about his teammate

II.

A team leader talks smack about Miguel Montero

III.

The Cubs get rid of Miguel Montero:

This is rather surprising. As I said in the last post, I figured he’d apologize today and it’d all be in the past. Guess not. Even more surprising: we learned earlier this week that the key to good clubhouse chemistry is having a teammate everyone hates. Guess that only works for the Giants.

Montero is making $14 million this season, so the Cubs are definitely eating some money to make a headache go away. They’re also losing some offensive production, as Montero has hit a nice .286/.366/.439 on the season. His terrible defense against opposing baserunners mitigates that, of course. And the whole “pissing off everyone in the clubhouse” thing isn’t exactly working out for him either, so here we are.

Oh well, have a good one, Miguel.