Jerry Manuel mishandled Jon Niese last night

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Because of (a) a rain delay; and (b) the fact that the Tigers couldn’t get the Mets out last night, Jon Niese ended up going an hour and a half between his last pitch of the third inning and his first pitch in the fourth. The delay was consequential: The Tigers couldn’t touch Niese for the first three innings last night, but after the delay he gave up six runs on seven hits.

I’m assuming the reason Jerry Manuel sent Niese out was because he was staked to a 10-0 lead and, with a couple innings more, he would have gotten the easy win. In fact he ended up with a no-decision, unable to make it through five.  Here’s Manuel on what happened:

“I thought what hurt him was trying to be careful with the lead knowing
he only had to go a couple more innings. He was throwing his
pitches for strikes but at the end he was just trying to get by. I
thought it was a great learning experience for him.”

Sure, being careful was what hurt him. It had nothing to do with going cold in the long delay and coming back with zero life in his arm, all because the manager thought it was important for him to get a little W on the back of his baseball card.

Apropos of nothing, I was reading a pretty neat article in the New York Times yesterday about something called the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which is a condition in which an incompetent person is unaware of his own incompetence. It’s not clear from the article if becoming aware that you are unaware of your own incompetence solves the problem, but it may be worth sliding the article under Jerry Manuel’s door all the same.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
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Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.

According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.

Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.