Buddy Bell

The White Sox already have a short list to replace Ozzie Guillen


Ken Williams, noting that they’ve had “warnings” that Ozzie Guillen would not be back in 2012, said last night that he already has a narrowed-down list of candidates to replace Guillen as White Sox manager.  According to Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago, Buddy Bell is at the top of that short list.

It’s hard to say how much juice there is to Bell’s candidacy — I’m sure a lot of names will spin out in the coming days and weeks — but Bell is currently in a the Sox’ front office, so it makes sense that his name comes up.  If there is any traction to the idea of Bell taking over, you can probably imagine that the Sox are going to do their best to blow up the current roster and rebuild, because that’s pretty much Bell’s niche in the world as a manager.

Indeed, he has had three previous stints as a manager. In at least two of those cases — Detroit and Kansas City — he was part of a full-fledged rebuilding effort. He led both of those teams to a .399 winning percentage. He had more to work with in Colorado and finished at .465.

We’re less than 12 hours from the announcement of Ozzie Guillen’s departure so, sure, take what you hear about his replacement with a grain of salt. But to the extent we hear more names like Bell’s, the greater suggestion it is that Kenny Williams is going to tear it all down and start from scratch.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.