Part of the reason why the Tigers are moving Phil Coke from the bullpen to the rotation following a fantastic year as a setup man in 2010 is that they feel confident about replacing him with rookie Daniel Schlereth, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com.
Schlereth is slated to take over for Coke as the Tigers’ primary left-handed setup man after the 2008 first-round pick tossed 19 innings with a 2.89 ERA and 19/10 K/BB ratio last season. He also had a 2.37 ERA and 60/34 K/BB ratio in 49 innings at Triple-A, and the 25-year-old southpaw has the potential to be more than simply a left-handed specialist if his control improves.
Here’s what general manager Dave Dombrowski had to say about his role in 2011 and beyond:
I think Daniel Schlereth can do that. We liked what we saw last year. Now, he can do more than that. He can get righties and lefties. He’s got a left-handed breaking ball and an above-average fastball. But he can get out anybody, really.
Schlereth, whose father Mark played in the NFL and is now a football analyst for ESPN, averaged 92 miles per hour with his fastball and also features a low-80s curveball. He’ll join Ryan Perry and free agent signing Joaquin Benoit in setting up closer Jose Valverde, with Joel Zumaya possibly joining the mix depending on his health.
Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that the Giants have signed catcher Nick Hundley. It’s a major league deal worth $2 million.
Hundley, who is 33, but who seems like he’s been in the bigs for about 27 years, hit .260/.320/.439 with 10 homers in 83 games for the Rockies last season. Obviously he will be the backup given the presence of Buster Posey.
Major League Baseball has experienced inconsistent progress in its efforts at promoting diversity and social responsibility in recent years despite making it a league priority. Today it has announced several changes in its leadership structure in these areas, with Commissioner Manfred saying, “As the sport of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, we have a responsibility to uphold and honor their legacies, especially in ensuring that our sport and business practices are as inclusive, diverse and socially-conscious as possible.”
To that end:
- Billy Bean has been promoted to Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner. This is a newly-created and elevated position in which Bean will continue his efforts at promoting human rights issues important to Major League Baseball, with a particular focus on LGBT and anti-bullying efforts. He has done such work since 2014 as its Ambassador for Inclusion, but putting him at the vice presidential level and having him answer directly to Commissioner Manfred increases his profile and that of his mission;
- Renée Tirado, has been promoted to Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion. Tirado had previously served as Senior Director of Recruitment. She will direct the implementation of recruitment plans and procedures to support MLB’s staffing objectives and will oversee MLB’s Diversity Pipeline Program. As you may recall, Major League Baseball has struggled mightily in these effort in recent years, and has admitted as much; and
- Melanie LeGrande has been promoted to Vice President of Social Responsibility. She previously served as MLB’s Director of Community Affairs. Her job will be to develop and enhance the initiatives that support MLB’s position in the community and oversee MLB’s community investments, nonprofit/non-governmental organization partnerships, large-scale disaster relief efforts and employee volunteer engagement.
Manfred said, “the promotions of Billy, Renée and Melanie reflect our commitment to have strong, innovative leadership in place that aligns our industry objectives with a desire to be effective corporate citizens.”
While all of these are current employees who have served in roughly similar roles. A business’ organizational chart says much about how much that business values various functions and initiatives. In keeping with Manfred’s comments, that all three of these people have been promoted to the vice presidential level is a strong signal from MLB about what it wants.
Now all it has to do is follow through and get what it wants.