I was on a radio show today and I was asked if I think Bobby Valentine would be the Red Sox manager on Opening Day 2013. I said I didn’t think he’d be the manager on October 3, 2012. But if he’s gone, who’s next? Bob Nightengale says, as we’ve heard elsewhere, that John Farrell is the Sox’ first choice. But …
If they can’t pry away Farrell, who’ll be the focus of attention at Fenway Park today as the Blue Jays open a three-game series there, look for the Red Sox to turn to Mike Scioscia if he is fired by the Los Angeles Angels.
If they can’t get either, they’ll be more likely to bring back Grady Little than keep Valentine.
Wow, that last line was a cheap shot.
Lots of ifs there. Scioscia is still safe — at least for now — and it seems unlikely that he’d be available. If the Angels do fire him, it’s probably because they missed out on the playoffs. And one wonders how Scioscia, despite his success in Anaheim, would be welcomed in Boston right after underachieving with a team that brought in boatloads of free agent talent. Because that’s kinda the problem Boston has had for the past couple of years.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.