This is not really a deep post or anything — and it’s likely not all that interesting to Brewers fans who are familiar with the guy already — but I thought it was worth noting that Ron Roenicke makes a great impression, seems very thoughtful and bright and seems like a dude I’d like to have manage my team.
He spoke to assembled media in his office for about 20 minutes. Since there isn’t any real news happening now, the questions were somewhat random and lent themselves to Roenicke making some jokes and talking about his philosophy on a number of things as opposed to facts and moves and things.
The funny: there are split squad games tomorrow and today’s game against the Indians, of course. He wasn’t sure which teams they were playing when and where. He turned to the team PR guy to his left to ask what was what. The PR guy wasn’t sure either. Roenicke: “Sometimes I don’t know who we’re playing the next day, to be honest. I just know if we’re home or away.”
The thoughtful: first he was asked about how much more he knows about the team now as opposed to his managerial debut. He said that he doesn’t feel like he is a master of anything, really, and that “every day I feel like something happens where I learn something. From both positive and negative experiences.” Very zen. Not at all surprising that he comes from the same managerial tree as Joe Maddon.
He continued in that vein when asked about Johnny Narron’s approach to hitting. He was asked how Narron differs from former hitting coach Dale Sveum. He said that Narron is unique in that he’s all about positive reinforcement. According to Roenicke, that’s not a common approach for hitting coaches. Which he finds strange because “hitting is so negative,” he said. “Guys go up to the plate sometimes and, no matter what, they think they’ve already got no chance.” He said it’s a natural thing and that everyone does it, especially when they’re struggling, and that Narron tries to counteract that.
Is that all touchy-feely? Maybe. I dunno. I’m in a fantastically good mood today, though, and it just seemed right. And refreshing to hear, especially in the soft-spoken and affable manner Roenicke has. It made me jealous that my team doesn’t have him as its manager. It would probably make most fans feel that way.
It was reported on Friday afternoon that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was involved in a brawl at a Miami nightclub. Details were scant at the time, but he reportedly left with a bruise on his face.
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate Puig under the league’s new domestic violence policy for his role in the brawl. Citing a report from TMZ, Hernandez notes that Puig shoved his sister, “brutally sucker-punched” the manager of the bar, and instigated the brawl.
The Dodgers and Puig’s agent have thus far refused to comment on the situation.
Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes was the first player to be investigated under the league’s new domestic violence policy earlier this month, as he allegedly assaulted his wife. Reyes has pleaded not guilty after he was charged with domestic abuse in Hawaii.
As our own Craig Calcaterra pointed out, commissioner Rob Manfred does not need to wait for Puig to plead guilty or to be found guilty to levy a punishment.
Patrick Newman is reporting that the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and outfielder Dayan Viciedo are close to an agreement on a contract. Newman notes that the Dragons are close to signing pitcher Jordan Norberto as well.
Viciedo, 26, has struggled since making his major league debut in 2010 with the White Sox, batting an aggregate .254/.298/.424 with 66 home runs and 211 RBI in 1,798 plate appearances. He spent the 2015 season with Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) and Nashville (Athletics), hitting a composite .287/.348/.450. While Viciedo can hit the occasional home run, he hasn’t shown the ability to do much else at the big league level. Given his age, he could prove himself in Japan and parlay that into a renewed shot in the majors in the future.
The White Sox signed Viciedo out of Cuba in December 2008, agreeing to a four-year, $10 million deal. The club re-signed him to one-year deals in 2013 and ’14 for $2.8 million each and $4.4 million ahead of the 2015 season.
Update (8:45 PM EST): Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Happ will get $10 million in 2016 and $13 million each in 2017 and ’18.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays have signed lefty J.A. Happ to a three-year deal worth $36 million.
Happ, 33, had a rebirth as a member of the Pirates last season after starting the season with 20 subpar starts with the Mariners. He made 11 starts for the Buccos, boasting a 1.85 ERA with a 69/13 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.
Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported this past August that Happ’s newfound success had to do with a delivery tweak suggested by Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage. The Blue Jays are certainly hoping that adjustment is the full explanation for his success.
The Jays’ signing of Happ most likely signifies they won’t be pursuing free agent lefty David Price.
This will be Happ’s second stint with the Blue Jays. The Astros dealt him to Toronto in a July 2012 trade. He posted a 4.39 ERA with a 256/113 K/BB ratio in 291 innings with the Jays, then went to the Mariners in a trade this past December that brought outfielder Michael Saunders to the Jays.
CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Rich Dubroff reports that the Orioles are “searching everywhere” for outfield help. The club recently acquired L.J. Hoes from the Astros in exchange for cash considerations, throwing him into a stable of six outfielders that could potentially crack the Opening Day Roster.
Adam Jones, of course, will open the season in center field. But in the corner outfield and on the bench, Dubroff lists Hoes along with Dariel Alvarez, Junior Lake, David Lough, Nolan Reimold and Henry Urrutia. Both Lough and Reimold are eligible for arbitration — Lough for the first time, and Reimold for his third and final year — so it remains to be seen if the Orioles will retain both of them.
The Orioles could target outfield help in the Rule-5 draft, and they could also target outfielders in free agency. Gerardo Parra, acquired by the O’s in a trade with the Brewers at the trade deadline, remains a possibility but the team is reluctant to offer him more than two years.