The Cubs’ search for a new skipper could be over.
According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum was offered the vacant position at some point Wednesday night.
Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona took himself out of the running on Wednesday morning and Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux has reportedly decided to return home to Texas.
Sveum, 47, has only managed for a couple of weeks on an interim basis, but he’s been in the coaching profession at the major league level since 2001 and is generally regarded as a thoughtful baseball strategist. He was also a candidate for Boston’s managerial opening, but they’re now expected to continue that search for another couple of weeks.
Look for Sveum to make a decision on the offer soon, probably within the next 12-24 hours.
Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius had another fantastic night last night. He went 3-for-3, hitting a home run for the fourth game in a row, had an RBI single and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances in New York’s 7-4 win over Minnesota.
For the year that gives Gregorius a line of .372/.470/.833, putting him atop the American League in average, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. He also leads the league in total bases (65) and RBI (29). He leads all of baseball in fWAR at 2.2, edging out Mike Trout despite the fact that Trout has played in two more games. He’s second behind Trout in homers with nine.
After last night’s game he insisted that he is not a home run hitter:
“I do have a lot of home runs, but it’s not like I am going out there to try to hit them . . . I’m not a power guy like Judge and Stanton, who hit 50 to 60 and up. Those are the guys who actually hit home runs. One year, let’s say, I hit five — then you ask me where that part went . . . if they go out, they go out. I’m just mostly trying to barrel it up and get a good swing . . . I try to hit line drives and if you check most of my home runs they were line drives,” he said. “It’s not like I am going up to hit deep fly balls.”
Given that he hit 25 homers last year and 20 the year before, he’s being a bit modest, even if he’s not likely to keep up this torrid pace. That modesty is not stopping some people from getting a bit carried away, of course:
We’ll forgive Bob for the hyperbole. Didi has been fun to watch.