A few weeks ago Indians general manager Chris Antonetti made it clear that manager Manny Acta wouldn’t be fired despite the team falling apart in the second half for a second straight season.
But what about Antonetti’s job? Or the job of the man above him, team president and former general manager Mark Shapiro? Well, they’re safe too, according to Indians owner Paul Dolan: “We all have a lot of work to do, but their jobs aren’t at stake.”
It’s worth noting that Dolan said those words to Zack Meisel of MLB.com while attending Acta’s charity bowling fundraiser, so something like “I dunno, I have to think about whether or not to fire some people” probably would have been kind of a buzzkill.
Cleveland went 33-40 after the All-Star break last year, which looks downright dominant compared to this year’s 10-29 record in the second half. To which Dolan said:
It’s been extraordinarily difficult. In our entire tenure of ownership, we have not seen a contending team deep into the season collapse like this. I don’t really know what’s happened to this team. It’s going to take more time to assess what we have and what we need and what we’re capable of doing. … Hopefully sometime this offseason, we’ll be able to assess and move from there.
Acta was hired as manager in October of 2009, while Antonetti took over for Shapiro before the 2010 season.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.