Earlier this afternoon the White Sox fired bench coach Mark Parent with just three games remaining in the season, but before the speculation train could leave the station regarding Robin Ventura’s job status general manager Rick Hahn announced that Ventura will return as manager in 2016.
It will be Ventura’s fifth season on the job and he’s experienced little success through the first four years, going 295-350 (.457). That includes a 74-85 record this season following a busy, big-spending offseason in which the White Sox created quite a bit of buzz and nearly as much optimism surrounding their chances to contend.
Ventura went 85-77 as a rookie, first-time manager in 2012, but since then the White Sox have gone 69-99, 73-89, and 74-85 while failing to finish above fourth place.
Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is back in the starting lineup tonight for the first time since September 12, returning after missing the past four weeks with a crack in his left shoulder blade.
As of 24 hours ago the expectation was that Tulowitzki would take live batting practice today and rejoin the lineup Saturday, so he’s actually slightly ahead of schedule and has three full games to get ready for the playoffs.
Acquired from the Rockies in a blockbuster July 28 trade, Tulowitzki hit just .232 with five homers and a .682 OPS in 39 games for the Blue Jays before the injury. Of course, his modest production mattered little, as Toronto went 30-9 with him in the lineup.
The five-time All-Star returns now as the No. 7 hitter in an MLB-best lineup that will give opposing pitchers nightmares in October.
Orioles slugger Chris Davis was named the team MVP today for the second time in three years and a couple hours later the impending free agent expressed frustration that the front office has not approached him about a contract extension to remain in Baltimore.
Davis is having a monster year, hitting .258 with a league-leading 45 homers and a .904 OPS, bouncing back from a brutal 2014 that saw him hit just .196 before a 25-game suspension.
Davis is a tough free agent to get a handle on because his production has varied wildly from year-to-year and his extreme strikeout rate may scare off some teams, but he’s 29 years old and has averaged 40 homers per 150 games during the past four seasons.
He’s going to get a big contract from someone and it’s understandable if the Orioles are hesitant to be that team, but Davis made it clear to the local media that he wants to remain in Baltimore and also pointed out that shortstop J.J. Hardy and center fielder Adam Jones have signed in-season extensions with the Orioles recently.