I have long questioned the utility of bench coaches. I mean, I don’t want them to go anywhere because who else is the manager gonna have a beer with after the game, but I’ve never had anyone convince me that they have much of an impact on the game itself. I guess it depends on the bench coach and what he’s asked to do.
But maybe we can get a data point tonight because Major League Baseball has just suspended Giants bench coach Ron Wotus “for his inappropriate actions, which included coming on to the field following his fourth inning ejection from his Club’s Saturday, July 23rd game against the Milwaukee Brewers at AT&T Park.”
Dear God. How will the Giants win without their bench coach?
In other news, I’m willing to bet that this is the last time we ever use a pic of Ron Wotus on HardballTalk.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.