Cory Sullivan

Former Rockies outfielder Cory Sullivan aims for front office job

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Cory Sullivan never officially announced his retirement after the Phillies let him go from Triple-A earlier this year, but he’s done as an active player and is looking for a front-office job, the Denver Post’s Troy Renck reports.

Sullivan, a six-year major league veteran, hit .271/.327/.381 in 1,127 at-bats, most of them coming with the Rockies.  He was Colorado’s primary center fielder for much of 2005 and ’06 — his claim to fame came on Apr. 9, 2006, when he became the first player since 1951 to triple twice in an inning — but then the Rockies traded for Willy Taveras to start over him in 2007.

Sullivan always had more of a fourth outfielder’s skill set anyway.  However, he had a surprisingly hard time finding work as a reserve.  After spending most of 2008 in the minors with the Rockies, he did play fairly well for the Mets in 2009, hitting .250/.338/.382 in 157 at-bats.  Still, he again struggled to find work afterwards and that he hit just .188 in 64 at-bats for the Astros in 2010 pretty much ended his career.

So now, having just turned 32, Sullivan is looking to break into some team’s scouting department, with higher aspirations along the way.  Former teammates Troy Tulowitzki and Chris Iannetta both believe he has what it takes to advance.

“He was brutally honest. And he knows the game,’’ Tulo said. “He’s had success, and he’s failed. He’s been in different situations. Those things can only help you, in my opinion, if you go into the front office.’’

Orioles re-sign Michael Bourn to a minor league deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a single in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.

Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.

Shelby Miller is in the best mental shape of his life

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24:  Shelby Miller #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller had about as bad a season as one can have. He was the headliner in the trade that sent 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson, All-Star outfielder Ender Inciarte, and highly-regarded pitching prospect Aaron Blair to the Braves. It was a trade that was pilloried at the time and continues to be pilloried to this day.

Miller didn’t do then-GM Dave Stewart any favors with his 2016 performance. He went 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio over 101 innings. That included a bout with mechanical failure, as he kept hitting the mound with his follow-through. He went on the disabled list. And after that, he was demoted to Triple-A. After getting fired, Stewart expressed remorse over acquiring Miller — or, more accurately, giving up Swanson to do so.

So, the 26-year-old Miller heads into 2017 without any momentum. To his credit, though, he’s going into the new season with a very positive perspective. Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

I’m just in a really happy place, away from the field, on the field. […]

Maybe it’s just the way I go about everything, trying to be positive in every single aspect of life. Baseball’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. I know bumps in the road are going to happen. Last year was obviously not just a bump, but a huge mountain. Right now, that’s completely behind me. I’m not worried about any of that.

I’m really ready for this year, ready to redeem myself so much.

Even pitching coach Mike Butcher sees the change in Miller’s mentality. “He’s not a different guy. But you can see there’s a presence in him. That’s what we need. Just be Shelby Miller. You don’t have to live up to anything. Just be yourself.”

Manager Torey Lovullo, too, praised Miller. “I saw a guy who had spent a lot of time taking care of his business in the weight room — he looks fantastic, in fantastic shape,” he said.

It sounds like Miller is not only in great mental shape, but great physical shape, too. Is it the “best shape of his life”? Only time can tell.