Rockies hire Mark Wiley as director of pitching operations

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No strangers to the unconventional, the Rockies announced today that they have hired Mark Wiley for their newly-created position of director of pitching operations.

Wiley worked as a scout with the Marlins this year and has previously served as pitching coach with the Orioles, Indians, Marlins and Royals. He’s had two previous stints with the Rockies, first as senior director of player personnel in 2000 and as a special baseball operations assistant from November 2005 through 2007.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post notes that Wiley will oversee pitching throughout the organization in his new position and will also have significant input on who the Rockies hire as their next pitching coach.

Pitching has always been an issue at Coors Field and it was especially problematic this year, as the Rockies ranked last in the majors in both team ERA (5.22) and rotation ERA (5.81). The club implemented a four-man rotation in mid-June and limited their starters to around 75 pitches, but they are expected to return to a more traditional five-man rotation next season.

Report: Christian Yelich’s relationship with Marlins ‘irretrievably broken’

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Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.

Longo said,

They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.

The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.

He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.

This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.

Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.