Aaron Gleeman

scioscia and dipoto angels

Angels manager Mike Scioscia and GM Jerry Dipoto are feuding again and it sounds really bad

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Angels manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto not always getting along has been an ongoing subplot for the past few years, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that recently the “tension is back and far more pervasive, extending to the Angels coaches and even the players.”

According to Rosenthal the latest issue stems from “a series of meetings over the weekend when Dipoto expressed frustration with the coaches’ failure to convey scouting information to the players.” And apparently at least one member of the coaching staff as well as star first baseman Albert Pujols didn’t react very kindly to the GM’s involvement.

Scioscia is the longest-tenured manager in baseball and has a .546 winning percentage in 16 seasons with the Angels, including a 40-37 record this year. He’s technically signed through 2018 as part of a 10-year contract, but Rosenthal notes that Scioscia has the ability to opt out of the deal after this season if he’s willing to give up the $18 million he’s owed from 2016-2018.

That sounds like a lot of money to pass up, but the 56-year-old Scioscia would presumably have little trouble securing another big, long-term contract to manage another contending team. And based on his terse comments about the working relationship with Dipoto it certainly sounds like Scioscia is tiring of the situation now that the GM is basically bypassing him to interact with players directly.

Rosenthal’s lengthy report includes tons of other details, many of which make the relationship sound incredibly bad and only getting worse. Anaheim may not be big enough for both of them.

Brian Dozier is the best second baseman in baseball

Brian Dozier Twins
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Trust me, this comes as a shock to me too and I’ve been writing about the Twins multiple times per week for the past dozen years.

Brian Dozier was never considered a particularly good prospect, never put up especially strong numbers in the minors, and didn’t debut for the Twins until at age 25. And he struggled initially on both sides of the ball, posting a .603 OPS while being moved from shortstop to second base as a rookie.

Fast forward three years and he’s the best second baseman in baseball, although the majority of the baseball-watching world hasn’t seemed to notice yet.

Dozier had a breakout 2014 season in which he hit 23 homers, stole 21 bases, drew 89 walks, scored 112 runs, and posted a .762 OPS in 156 games. But the Twins were terrible and his batting average was low, so it mostly went unnoticed. Now the Twins are less terrible, his batting average is a little higher, and Dozier is having an even better season with 16 homers, 58 runs scored, and an .869 OPS through 75 games.

Some people will never stop focusing on batting average, but that’s a very outdated approach to evaluating baseball players and since the beginning of last season Dozier leads all MLB second basemen in home runs, walks, and runs scored while also ranking second in OPS and RBIs. Factor in defense as well and he leads all MLB second basemen in Wins Above Replacement since the beginning of last season:

SECOND BASEMEN     WAR
Brian Dozier       7.6
Jose Altuve        6.7
Dustin Pedroia     6.5
Ian Kinsler        6.5
Dee Gordon         6.1

As a prospect Dozier was a light-hitting, contact-making shortstop afterthought, but he’s turned himself into a power-hitting, walk-drawing offensive force to emerge as the best second baseman in baseball at age 28.

Yankees remove Adam Warren from the rotation, keep CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi as starters

Adam Warren Yankees
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CC Sabathia is looking more and more like a reliever–or less and less like a capable starter, at least–but the Yankees will keep him in the rotation and instead move Adam Warren back to the bullpen despite his team-best 3.59 ERA in 14 starts.

New York briefly went to a six-man rotation following Ivan Nova’s return from Tommy John elbow surgery, but the plan was always to go back to five starters and Warren’s previous experience in the bullpen likely contributed to his role being changed while Sabtahia (5.65 ERA) and Nathan Eovaldi (4.81 ERA) remain starters.

(Sabathia making a ton of money and the Yankees viewing Eovaldi as having more long-term upside than Warren also played a part, certainly.)

Warren thrived as a setup man for David Robertson last season, appearing in 69 games with a 2.97 ERA and 76/24 K/BB ratio in 79 innings. And the Yankees’ bullpen can use the late-inning help with Andrew Miller on the disabled list.