The Diamondbacks are considering making a change to a current club policy that mandates only retiring the uniform numbers of players who are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s a silly policy in the first place and makes little sense for a club with less than 15 years under its belt.
“We believe it is time to revisit that particular company policy,”
D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall said. “It’s limiting and
restrictive for a franchise that is so young and successful. We have
some players who deserve consideration for their numbers to be retired,
whether or not their names are ever enshrined in the Hall of Fame.”
As noted by MLB.com’s
Steve Gilbert, such a change could also clear the way for the
of Luis Gonzalez’s No. 20. Gonzo played for the Diamondbacks for eight years (1999-2006) and was a fan favorite throughout his time in Arizona. He retired with 2,591 total major league hits, 354 home runs and a .283/.367/.479 career batting line, and he is now working within the Diamondbacks’ front office.
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.
Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.
His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.
The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.