MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan flew to Dallas to meet with co-owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. Ryan had considered stepping down from his position as there is a bit of a power struggle involving Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels. Sullivan says Ryan could end up sticking around after all:
A resolution could be reached that would allow Ryan to remain with the Rangers and there is a possibility that a formal announcement will be made at some point this weekend, according to a source.
Ryan directly hired pitching coach Mike Maddux and bench coach Jackie Moore, moves that are usually reserved for the general manager. There was also some messiness within the organization surrounding Ryan’s titles, as noted by Evan Grant:
The Rangers never should have given Ryan two titles when Chuck Greenberg was pushed out of the organization. He should have moved into the CEO’s role then and the current array of titles could have been divided up then.
Outfielder David Murphy doesn’t think the Ryan situation will affect the team, saying, “I think an issue with a player is one thing but if it’s something that deals with the front office, that’s not an issue. We have absolutely no control over that.”
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.
Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.
In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”
Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.
Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.