Craig mentioned earlier this week that Rockies manager Jim Tracy was scheduled to have a sitdown with Rockies director of major league operations Bill Geivett this weekend. The meeting took place as scheduled yesterday, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies will not make a decision on Tracy’s future until at least Monday.
According to Renck, Tracy is currently analyzing all of the issues discussed while making sure he is comfortable with his role moving forward. The dynamic has changed a bit over the past couple of months, as Geivett was given an office in the clubhouse in August and now focuses on roster management, especially in regard to the pitching staff. Meanwhile, general manager Dan O’Dowd is now focusing on the team’s farm system and player development.
Tracy was given an indefinite contract extension by O’Dowd last offseason, but only his salary for 2013 is guaranteed. If he sticks around as manager, he will not have the authority to decide whether to retain or fire his coaches like he did last offseason. That will be Geivett’s call.
Tracy has a 294-308 (.488) record over four seasons as manager of the Rockies. The club lost 89 games last year and a franchise-worst 98 games in 2012.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.