As if the Twins’ rotation wasn’t in rough enough shape already, presumptive Opening Day starter Scott Diamond recently underwent surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow.
General manager Terry Ryan said today that Diamond will not pitch for Canada in the World Baseball Classic, but is expected to be ready for spring training.
Diamond started 27 games for the Twins with a 3.54 ERA after beginning the season at Triple-A, but his weak strikeout rate of 4.7 per nine innings will make it tough for the 26-year-old left-hander to maintain that type of performance.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.