Toronto made four additions to new manager John Farrell’s staff today, adding Don Wakamatsu as bench coach, Dwayne Murphy as hitting coach, Pat Hentgen as bullpen coach, and Torey Lovullo as first base coach.
Wakamatsu was the Mariners’ manager for all of 2009 and most of this season, going 127-147 before being fired in mid-August. He’ll reportedly still be allowed to interview for the Mets’ managerial opening.
Murphy was one of the greatest defensive center fielders in baseball history and has held various jobs in the Blue Jays’ organization since 2005. He was also the Diamondbacks’ hitting coach during their championship season in 2001.
Hentgen is one of the best players in Blue Jays history, winning the Cy Young award in 1996 and a total of 131 games during his 14-year career. He retired in 2004.
Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.
The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.
While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.
The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.
Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.
This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.