Wally Backman could join the Nationals’ coaching staff

8 Comments

Wally Backman was a finalist for the Mets’ job last season, didn’t get it and went on to manage Double-A Binghamton. He’s currently expected to be in line for the job at Triple-A Buffalo, but Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that he may leave the Mets organization altogether and take a job as Davey Johnson’s third base coach in Washington.

Such a move would get Backman back to the bigs, of course. And, given that (a) Johnson is not going to manage forever; and (b) third base coach is a pretty standard springboard kind of job, it could put Backman in line to be Johnson’s heir with the Nats.

I was critical of the Mets for considering Backman for the top job last year. But after a couple more years under his belt, some time on a major league coaching staff and with some closer tutelage by a guy like Johnson, it could make way more sense.  Besides: if his fiery, hard-nosed reputation is everything it’s purported to be, seeing him beat Bryce Harper into a major leaguer in a year or two could be great fun to watch. Though maybe not much fun for Harper.

Nick Burdi has strained biceps tendon and flexor mass

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Last night, Pirates pitcher Nick Burdi crumpled to the ground, grabbing his right arm after throwing a fastball to Diamondbacks outfielder Jarrod Dyson. The injury looked terrible. So bad, in fact, that Burdi was in tears on the mound as trainers tended to him.

Thankfully, the diagnosis for Burdi is good, all things considered. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Burdi has been diagnosed with a strained biceps tendon and flexor mass. He will be sidelined indefinitely, but he appears to need only rehabilitation as opposed to surgery. Burdi will have a second opinion to ensure the correct diagnosis.

Burdi underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017, which kept him out of action for about 14 months. The former Twins top prospect currently holds a 9.35 ERA with a 17/3 K/BB ratio in 8 2/3 innings for the Pirates this season.