Gordon Beckham AP

Gordon Beckham has a strained oblique


According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com, the White Sox announced this afternoon that second baseman Gordon Beckham has suffered a strained left oblique and will be shut down from baseball activities for seven days.

We’re about two weeks away from the start of the regular season, so Beckham will have to make quick progress to avoid a stint on the disabled list. And oblique injuries are known to linger. If he is forced to miss the start of the season, it could open the door for prospect Marcus Semien to play second base. One possible alternative, Jeff Keppinger, is already expected to begin the year on the disabled list due to soreness in his surgically-repaired shoulder.

Beckham, 27, hit .267/.322/.372 with five home runs, 24 RBI, and five stolen bases in 102 games last season.

Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey

Oliver Perez, Mike Harkey
Leave a comment

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.

That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.

Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.

Nats expected to consider Cal Ripken for the manager job

Cal Ripken Jr

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals are expected to consider Cal Ripken Jr. for their managerial vacancy. Ripken, of course, was recently reported to have been considered by the club the last time the job was open.

This could be a courtesy. And if you’re a Nats fan, you have to hope it is, right? Because the single biggest argument in favor of Matt Williams when he was hired was that he was a top player in his day, wasn’t too far removed from his playing career and could be a good clubhouse guy who understood what made major leaguers tick. His lack of experience was brushed off. All of which would be the same thing for Ripken, except he doesn’t even have the coaching experience Williams had and is even farther removed from his playing days.

I know he’s famous and everything, but if the Nationals’ 2015 season is evidence of anything, perhaps it should be evidence that sometimes it’s useful to have a manager who has actually, you know, made a pitching change once in his professional life.