Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier this week that Angels owner Arte Moreno had been “expressing unhappiness behind the scenes” with the performance of both longtime skipper Mike Scioscia and first-year general manger Jerry Dipoto.
But that unhappiness isn’t going to lead to much.
Moreno spoke directly with MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez on Saturday afternoon and put to rest the growing speculation that he was considering making significant changes in the front office and dugout.
“Regardless of what happens the next 11 games, Mike Scioscia will 100 percent return,” Moreno said in a phone interview with MLB.com. “I have told him. He wants to come back, I want him to come back. He’s been the manager of the Angels for 13 years. He will be the manager of the Angels for a 14th year. Period.
Jerry Dipoto will be back. I think we’re learning a lot about ourselves, but [Dipoto] will be back.”
Scioscia signed a 10-year contract in 2009. Dipoto was hired this past offseason to replace Tony Reagins.
The Angels entered play Saturday evening with an 82-69 record, ranking third in the American League West and three games behind the Athletics in the hunt for the American League’s second Wild Card.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.