After beating the Giants 6-3 behind a strong outing from Rick Porcello, the Tigers terminated pitching coach Rick Knapp on Sunday, replacing him with bullpen coach Jeff Jones.
Knapp had spent 2 1/2 season as Detroit’s pitching coach after replacing the fired Chuck Hernandez.
The Tigers are 45-40, leaving them just a half-game back of Cleveland in the AL Central, and they just had both Justin Verlander and Jose Valverde named to the AL All-Star team, but they do rank 12th in the AL with a 4.40 ERA, leaving them ahead of only the Orioles and Royals. Verlander is the team’s only starter with a sub-4.00 ERA.
Max Scherzer’s inconsistency and the lack of development from former first-round picks Porcello and Ryan Perry could have been factors in the dismissal. Scherzer is 9-4 this season, but his ERA stands at 4.90 following another poor outing Saturday. Porcello is at 4.96. Perry, who was drafted with expectations that he’d emerge as a closer down the line, has an 8.20 ERA in 18 2/3 innings this season.
Free agent outfielder Jarrod Dyson is still a possible target for the Orioles, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The outfielder has received limited interest after entering free agency this season, due in part to the season-ending sports hernia surgery he underwent last September. To that end, Kubatko says, the team has verified his medicals and no red flags appear to have surfaced so far.
Dyson, 33, managed a modest .251/.324/.350 batting line, five home runs and 28 stolen bases in 390 plate appearances for the Mariners last year. He didn’t overwhelm the competition at the plate, particularly during an injury-riddled second half, but still showed himself capable of maintaining the speed and defense that have become his calling cards over the last five seasons. Kubatko notes that while Dyson doesn’t appear to be seeking an everyday role again in 2018, he could be a “useful player” for Baltimore if he remains healthy.
The Giants have also tossed their hats in the ring for Dyson this winter, going so far as to call him their primary non-Lorenzo Cain candidate. Nothing is close to being finalized, however, and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that both Dyson and the Giants are still talking to other interested parties. The Orioles, too, are exploring alternatives to Dyson, and are rumored to be in talks with an anonymous right fielder who could conceivably platoon in right field and help provide depth behind Adam Jones in center.