Eh, sorry. Sometimes even I can’t resist the gimmick headlines:
A Mattingly will be back in uniform in the New York Yankees’ organization this year – Preston. The 24-year-old son of the former Yankees star and current Los Angeles Dodgers manager agreed Wednesday to a minor league contract with New York.
Preston is not exactly a prospect. If he was, he wouldn’t have been traded away by the Dodgers one week after his father was named Dodgers’ manager. He didn’t last in the Cleveland organization, and almost immediately re-signed with the Dodgers. In six seasons in the minors he has put up a line of .232/.276./335. And he has been shuttled all over the diamond, starting as a middle infielder and now playing corner outfield slots and a little first base.
I suppose this signing could be considered a nice gesture by the Yankees to the Mattingly family. Sort of a thanks for all of the years of goodwill and service Don gave the team. But given that the guy’s employment has been close to 100% based on his organizations’ relationship with his father, you gotta figure that his destiny is going to hold things other than playing baseball for a living in the not too distant future.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.