Ryne Sandberg was the Pacific Coast League manager of the year in 2010, but left the Cubs organization after being passed over for the big-league managerial opening and spent this season managing at Triple-A for the Phillies.
Prior to Sandberg’s arrival Lehigh Valley had never finished above .500 since coming into existence in 2008, but he managed the IronPigs into the International League playoffs.
Sandberg’s previous success managing in the minors didn’t help him much when it came to landing a prominent spot on a major-league coaching staff, but at some point you’d think the Hall of Famer would get an opportunity. And with the Cubs firing general manager Jim Hendry and perhaps firing Mike Quade after the season Sandberg will probably be linked to that job again.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”