Seeking to pull his third baseman out of a slump, manager Joe Maddon shifted Evan Longoria to the leadoff spot in the order Saturday. He went 2-for-4 with a homer and a walk his first game there and then went 2-for-3 with a double and two walks Sunday in a 7-0 win over the Indians.
Jeremy Hellickson blanked the tribe for seven innings to earn his fifth win in six starts. He’s a prime Rookie of the Year contender with a 6-3 record and a 2.80 ERA this season.
Longoria was just 6-for-45 with one RBI in 12 games before moving up in the lineup Saturday. He’s reached base seven times since.
The Rays also got a contribution from last year’s leadoff man in this one. John Jaso, who has mostly hit eighth and ninth this year, went 2-for-4 and hit a two-run homer off Justin Masterson.
Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine has been hired as the Twins’ next General Manager. It has not been made official, but multiple outlets are reporting the hire. Levine will join Derek Falvey, who was named the Twins’ new president of baseball operations last month.
Levine has been the Rangers assistant GM since the 2005 season, working as GM Jon Daniels’ second in command. He’ll still be second in command in Minnesota, but with an elevated title as is the style of the day. He previously worked with the Rockies. He has, according to various reports, been conversant in statistical analysis as well as traditional scouting and player development. As is also the style of the day.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports says that “folks would be surprised” if the Diamondbacks didn’t hire Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo as their next manager. Indeed, he says he’d be “shocked” if Lovullo wasn’t given the job.
New Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen comes from Boston, obviously, and knows Luvullo well. Luvullo has served as the Red Sox interim manager and has been a contender for multiple managerial jobs over the past couple of years. Others have suggested that Phil Nevin, the manager of the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate in Reno, is a top choice for the job, but given the wholesale turnover in the Dbacks’ front office, one has to wonder if he has as many patrons there now as he had in the past.
Odds are that any decision on the Arizona skipper position will come after the World Series is over.