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.
Aaron Judge may be the talk of the town right now, but let’s not forget some of Major League Baseball’s more established sluggers. Take the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, for instance, who jumped on a full count during the first inning of Saturday’s game and postmarked the ball to the center field concourse in Chase Field.
Harper’s mammoth hit was the first career home run allowed by Diamondbacks’ rookie Anthony Banda. Banda quickly recovered with an inning-ending strikeout to Ryan Zimmerman, but was booted from his big league debut after Harper, Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon combined for a three-run spread in the sixth.
The first-inning homer also served another purpose: it extended Harper’s hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in MLB this season. He’ll need four more games to tie the 19-game streak Royals’ infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield established back in June.
The Nationals currently lead the Diamondbacks 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Rangers’ right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez is slated for Tommy John surgery, according to a report by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Gonzalez was placed on the 60-day disabled list back in early April with a partial UCL tear and was working towards a throwing program before getting sidelined with more elbow pain. He’s expected to miss the entirety of the 2018 season while recovering from the surgery.
This is the second straight season that has been derailed for Gonzalez due to injury. The 25-year-old starter pitched just 10 1/3 innings in 2016 after recovering from a torn UCL, and was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to finish out the year after compiling an 8.71 ERA, 7.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 in three starts with the club. He showed more promise in Triple-A with a 4.70 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 5.9 SO/9 through 24 starts and 138 innings.
It’s a tough blow for the Rangers, who have seen Gonzalez healthy in just one major league season to date. General manager Jon Daniels told reporters that a recent MRI showed signs of weakening in the ligament, which disrupted the team’s plans to have the right-hander stick to a six- to eight-week recovery timetable after getting a platelet-rich plasma injection (via Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). The surgery is expected to take place next week and will put Gonzalez’s earliest return date sometime in September 2018.