Marlins president says firing manager Edwin Rodriguez “is not something I’ve pondered”

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Yesterday the Marlins lost for the 14th time in 15 games to slide into sole possession of last place in the NL East and judging from Hanley Ramirez’s comments about having Edwin Rodriguez’s “back till death” the players clearly think their manager is on the hot seat.

Team president David Samson told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that firing Rodriguez “is not something that I have pondered.”

He stopped well short of saying Rodriguez’s job is safe, however, as Capozzi notes that he “chose his words carefully” and “left that door open a bit” while saying:

Obviously we are going through an unprecedented bad stretch and we are disappointed. But as quickly as things have gone bad, we are hoping they can get good again. I am confident we have the ability to get out of this. We’ll just have to see how we do it. You hear this from us every year: Everyone is always evaluated every day, always.

Roughly translated, that sure seems like “we’re not ready to fire him right now, but we’re also not ruling it out if the losing continues for much longer.”

Rodriguez, who took over as manager in the middle of last year when the Marlins fired Fredi Gonzalez following back-to-back winning seasons, has gone 78-83 in one game short of a full season at the helm.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.