Craig Calcaterra

Andy MacPhail

Phillies likely to name their GM on Monday


Jim Salisbury of reports on the Phillies’ general manager search.

As far as the candidates, not much is new. Salisbury says “the most consistent names mentioned by baseball insiders” are Matt Klentak of the Los Angeles Angels and J.J. Picollo of the Royals. The timing is what he focuses on, however, reminding us that MLB does not like teams to break news during the World Series but is OK with it on off-days. Against that backdrop and the Phillies’ organization meetings beginning next week, Salisbury suspects that the announcement could come on Monday, the day off before the World Series.

What he doesn’t say, and what seems increasingly clear across baseball, is that the identity of the GM is nowhere near as important as the identity of the top baseball operations person which, in the Phillies’ case, is Andy MacPhail. It’s enough to make one wonder when the press will stop reporting on GM hires like they used to and, rather, treat them like any other assistant front office position, relegated to bullet points at the end of notes columns.

UPDATE: Mariners officially name Scott Servais as their new manager

Scott Servais Cubs

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Mariners will name Scott Servais as their new manager today. Yesterday Ken Rosenthal reported that Servais’ was the “strong frontrunner.” I guess he was right.

Servais was new Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto’s assistant with the Angels, so the interview process was not likely arduous. Prior to his time with the Angels he was the Rangers’ senior director of player development and, of course, played 11 seasons in the majors.

A former catcher with little coaching experience but some time in vague advisor/assistant positions in a front office named manager? By gum, that’s so crazy it just might work!

UPDATE:  It’s official:

Jacob deGrom to start Game 1 of the World Series

Jacob deGrom

Buster Olney reports that Jacob deGrom will get the start in Game 1 of the World Series for the New York Mets. It’s not deGrom’s turn, but five days off allows Terry Collins to arrange his rotation however he likes. Following deGrom will be Noah Syndergaard in Game 2, Matt Harvey in Game 3 and Steven Matz in Game 4.

Collins will no doubt address his reasons for this sometime soon. One possible reason, I suppose, is that deGrom and Syndergaard have higher strikeout rates and would be better suited to face the Blue Jays in Rogers Centre. Not that we’re dealing with dramatic or particularly significant differences or anything. But I guess you have to pick somehow.