Author: D.J. Short

Kansas City Royals' Ben Zobrist waves to the crowd during a parade celebrating the Royals winning baseball's World Series Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. The Royals beat the New York Mets in five games to win the championship. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

The Zobrists give middle name “Royal” to newborn baby girl


What a week for the Zobrist family.

After winning the Royals won the 2015 World Series in five games over the Mets last Sunday, Ben Zobrist‘s wife, Julianna, gave birth to a baby girl yesterday. The baby’s name? Blaise Royal Zobrist, of course.

Julianna posted the following picture and message on her Instagram account:

It would have been awkward if Zobrist had won the World Series with one of his former teams like the Rays, Astros, or Athletics, but this actually worked out perfectly. Congratulations to the Zobrist family.

Zobrist batted .303/.365/.515 with two home runs, eight doubles, and six RBI over 16 games this postseason while posting more walks (seven) than strikeouts (six). The 34-year-old is a free agent this winter, so he’s no sure thing to call himself a Royal in 2016.

Dodgers to interview Dave Martinez for manager job

MESA, AZ - MARCH 2:  Bench coach Dave Martinez #4 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Photo Day on Monday, March 2, 2015 at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Add another name to the long list of candidates for the Dodgers’ manager job, as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez is expected to interview for the vacant position next week.

Martinez knows Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman well from his time with the Rays, where he was the bench coach from 2008-2014. He joined Joe Maddon’s staff in Chicago this past season.

Martinez has been considered a future manager for a while now, but he’ll face a lot of competition with the Dodgers. Gabe Kapler and Dave Roberts have gained momentum as front-runners, but names like Bob Geren, Bud Black, Kirk Gibson, Tim Wallach, Ron Roenicke, and Darin Erstad are also in the mix.

Brandon Belt is still having some concussion symptoms

San Francisco Giants'  Brandon Belt reacts after being called out on strikes by home plate umpire Jim Joyce to end the top of the first inning against the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Friday, Sept.. 4, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt suffered a concussion when he took a knee to the head on a slide into second base on September 15 (Video here). Nearly two months later, Belt tells Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s still having some symptoms.

On the bright side, Belt said that he’s no longer dealing with things like nausea and mood swings. However, he has felt some lightheadedness since resuming workouts after knee surgery. He was told by concussion specialist Dr. Mickey Collins over the phone that it’s not a major concern.

“I actually feel pretty good right now,” Belt said. “I have a little lightheadedness mainly when I work out. That was to be expected. I was wondering about all this stuff. The doctor said, ‘You know what? This is what we hear about everybody who has a concussion. You’re no different than anybody else.’

“There’s no panicking on my part about it,” Belt said.

This is the third concussion for Belt since college and his second in the last two years. While he has all offseason to heal, both general manager Bobby Evans and manager Bruce Bochy have expressed concern about his history and what it could mean for his future.

The 27-year-old Belt was having an excellent season prior to the concussion, establishing new career-highs with 18 home runs and 68 RBI while batting .280/.356/.478 over 137 games.

(Thanks to Lindsey Adler for the link)

The Mariners and Rays pull off a six-player trade

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 03:  Nate Karns #51 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 3, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Hot Stove is off and running, as the Mariners and Rays announced a six-player trade this evening.

The Mariners have sent first baseman Logan Morrison, infielder/outfielder Brad Miller, and right-hander Danny Farquhar to the Rays in exchange for right-hander Nate Karns, left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser, and prospect outfielder Boog Powell.

The deal is the first in the tenure of new Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, who was hired at the end of September. Karns is the headliner here after posting a 3.67 ERA and 145/56 K/BB ratio in 147 innings as a rookie this season. He turns 28 later this month, but will remain under team control through 2020. Karns was shut down early in September due to some forearm tightness, but the Mariners obviously aren’t concerned.

Riefenhauser has posted solid numbers in relief in the minors, but he has struggled to the tune of a 6.30 ERA over 24 appearances in the majors. He turns 28 later this month. Powell, no relation to the other Boog Powell, was acquired from the Athletics in the Ben Zobrist trade last winter. He turns 23 in January and batted .295/.385/.392 with three home runs, 40 RBI, and 18 stolen bases between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham this season. He’s likely not far off from the majors.

Miller is the most intriguing part of the deal for the Rays. And frankly, seems like the perfect Tampa Bay Ray. The 26-year-old batted .258/.329/.402 with 11 home runs, 46 RBI, and 13 stolen bases over 144 games this season. The Rays could either play him in the outfield or at shortstop, so he gives them some options.

Morrison slugged 17 home runs this season (his highest total since 2011), but he did so with a career-low .225 batting average and .685 OPS. The 28-year-old made $2.725 million in 2015 and will be arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter. With James Loney still under contract, Morrison figures to DH in 2016. After posting a 2.66 ERA in 2014, Farquhar struggled with a 5.12 ERA over 43 appearances this season and had a couple of stints in the minors. He’ll be the Rays’ latest reclamation project out of the bullpen.

Jacob deGrom won’t have his hair chopped off after all

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 28:  Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets reacts in the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals in Game Two of the 2015 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom said during the playoffs that his flowing locks were “driving him nuts” and that he intended to have them chopped off after the season. However, he has already had a change of heart on the matter.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News has the very important story:

How long before deGrom and Noah Syndergaard get a shampoo commercial? I mean, really.

Marketing opportunities aside, there’s no need to mess with what’s working. After winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2014, deGrom posted a 2.54 ERA and 205/38 K/BB ratio in 191 innings over 30 starts this season. He had a 2.88 ERA over four starts during the Mets’ World Series run.