Yesterday several reports indicated that the Dodgers were likely to keep Don Mattingly as manager for next season and today Mattingly told the media that he’s “assuming” he’ll be back.
Mattingly apparently came to that conclusion after meeting with the Dodgers’ front office, although he stopped short of saying he’s been given any kind of assurances.
Of course, if reports about general manager Ned Colletti’s job being in jeopardy are accurate it’d be tough for the front office’s assurances to Mattingly to mean anything anyway.
Mattingly has a 354-293 (.547) record in four seasons as Dodgers manager, including 94-68 this year.
Injuries limited right-hander Matt Albers to just 10 innings this season and the Astros have declined the reliever’s $3 million option for 2015, buying him out for $200,000.
Albers had a very effective two-season run for the Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Indians in 2012 and 2013, throwing a total of 123 innings with a 2.77 ERA despite just 5.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
When healthy enough to take the mound this season he remained effective, allowing just one run in eight appearances, but shoulder problems make it likely that he’ll have to accept a minor-league deal as a free agent.
As expected, Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced that Chris Tillman will start Game 1 of the ALCS against the Royals.
Tillman started Game 1 of the ALDS versus the Tigers and allowed two runs in five innings of an Orioles blowout victory.
Tillman topped 200 innings in each of the past two seasons and sliced his ERA from 3.71 last year to 3.34 this year despite striking out nearly 20 percent fewer batters per nine innings.
He’ll match up against James Shields on Friday night.
Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that Houston hitting coach John Mallee has left the Astros to become the Cubs’ new hitting coach just days after the team parted ways with hitting coach Bill Mueller.
Mallee spent the past two seasons as the Astros’ hitting coach under manager Bo Porter and Brian McTaggart of MLB.com says he could have stayed on the job under new manager A.J. Hinch, but the Chicago native wanted to return home. Eric Hinske will serve as the Cubs’ assistant hitting coach.
Prior to joining the Astros he was the Marlins’ hitting coach in 2010 and 2011 and has a whole bunch of coaching experience in the minors. So he fits what Cubs president Theo Epstein was looking for as a veteran hitting coach with a lengthy track record, although certainly the quality of that track record is up for debate.
Ryan Zimmerman was healthy enough for the Nationals to put him on the NLDS roster, so why didn’t he start any games against the Giants? Well, because he wasn’t actually healthy.
Zimmerman, who was out for two months with a hamstring injury and also battled chronic shoulder problems all season, told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he was “hurt enough not to play.”
He was used as a pinch-hitter in every game, but never stayed in to play defense and was pinch-run for following his only hit of the series in Game 2.
His future position has been a constant topic of debate in Washington for a while now because of various injuries and Kilgore writes that Zimmerman “will likely move to first base next season, assuming the Nationals allow Adam LaRoche to leave via free agency.”
Before the shoulder problems Zimmerman was an excellent defensive third baseman and he played exclusively third base from 2006-2013 while logging nearly 10,000 innings there. He’s signed through 2018 at an average of $15 million per season.