John Maine leaves Rockies’ AAA team, considering retirement

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As reported by Jack Etikin of Inside the Rockies, right-hander John Maine has grown frustrated by his struggles this season at Triple-A Colorado Springs and is considering retiring from baseball.

Maine left Colorado Springs on Tuesday after allowing 10 hits and eight runs in four-plus innings Monday against the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate. He threw 95 pitches in the outing, and just 52 of them were strikes. The 30-year-old has registered a 7.43 ERA, 35 strikeouts and a whopping 37 walks in 46 frames this year at the Triple-A level.

He’s going to take some time off before deciding whether to actually call it quits or return to his post in the Rockies’ minor league system. Maine signed a minor league contract with Colorado this past offseason after finishing with a 6.13 ERA and 1.82 WHIP over nine starts in 2010 for the Mets. He had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder a little over one year ago and has been unable to fully recover.

Report: Mets interview Dave Littlefield to fill GM vacancy

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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Marc Carig of The Athletic reports that the Mets have interviewed Dave Littlefield to fill the club’s GM vacancy. The position hasn’t exactly been a popular one for potential candidates, with many preemptively taking their name out of consideration.

Littlefield, 58, was the Pirates’ GM between 2001-07. It didn’t exactly go well. The club never won more than 75 games during his tenure. Littlefield was also infamous for the 2003 Rule 5 draft in which he carelessly left several valuable players unprotected, including Chris Shelton and José Bautista. Littlefield was also criticized for trades he made (e.g. Aramis Ramírez) and for trades he didn’t make (e.g. Kris Benson for Ryan Howard).

In the time since, Littlefield worked as a scout for the Cubs, then for the Tigers. Since 2015, he has worked as the vice president of player development for the Tigers. Littlefield’s successor, Neal Huntington, went on to have more success which didn’t help Littlefield’s cause any. Huntington was also comparatively much more open to analytics.

The Mets’ interest in Littlefield isn’t surprising. There are plenty of up-and-coming GM candidates — like Ben Cherington — the Mets could target, but Fred Wilpon (pictured above) want that. They want someone malleable who will adhere to payroll constrictions. Mets ownership’s involvement is an issue for the younger, analytics-oriented executives, Matt Ehalt of The Record reported earlier this month. Ehalt wrote, “There are rumblings that several candidates with progressive, analytics-oriented approaches do not believe they will be able to operate as they please should they take the Mets job, according to a source. That hesitation played a factor in why former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington bowed out of the mix, per the source.”

You have to feel bad for Mets fans, who seem relegated to having to root for a middling ballclub once again. And you have to feel bad for the likes of Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard, who will once again have to perform for a team that doesn’t have competing as its chief priority.