Rays remove Rocco Baldelli from playoff roster with left leg fatigue, add Willy Aybar

17 Comments

Tampa Bay including Rocco Baldelli on the playoff roster was a surprise given that he logged a total of just 24 at-bats for the Rays after spending much of the season as a minor-league coach.
Even more surprising was that manager Joe Maddon gave Baldelli the Game 1 start at designated hitter against Cliff Lee. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and now the Rays have removed Baldelli from the playoff roster, adding Willy Aybar in his place.
Mid-series roster changes can only be made as a result of injuries, and so the official reason being given is that Baldelli has “left leg fatigue.” That’s sure to raise some eyebrows, but Baldelli has a long history of health problems that have sidetracked his once-promising career on several different occasions and the Rays say the leg fatigue is related to his mitochondrial disorder.
Aybar is starting at DH this afternoon against left-hander C.J. Wilson. Baldelli is now ineligible to play in the remaining ALDS games or the ALCS if the Rays advance that far, but would be eligible to return for the World Series.

Report: Joe Girardi waiting for opening with Cubs

Adam Hunger/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that former Yankees manager Joe Girardi took himself out of the running for the Reds’ and Rangers’ managerial openings. The “industry speculation” is that Girardi is waiting a year for a potential opening to manage the Cubs.

Current Cubs manager Joe Maddon has one more year left on his contract. While the Cubs have played quite well under his tenure, the front office and Maddon haven’t had any discussions about an extension, which means 2019 might be his final year with the club. Under Maddon’s leadership since 2015, the Cubs won the championship in 2016 and compiled a 387-261 (.597) record during the regular season.

Girardi, 54, spent his first four seasons in the majors with the Cubs and another three towards the end of his career. He managed the Marlins for one year in 2006, then managed the Yankees from 2008-17, leading them to a World Series in ’09 and an overall regular season record of 910-710 (.562).