The Player of the Week awards were announced this afternoon. The winners: Paul Konerko of the White Sox and Jay Bruce of the Reds.
Konerko went 10-for-23 with three doubles, three home runs — including his 400th career bomb — and drove in four. He’s having another quietly great Paul Konerko year thus far, hitting .383/.444/.679. Someday we’re all gonna look back at the past 15 years or so and wonder why in the hell people didn’t talk about him more than we did.
In the NL, it was Jay Bruce, who went 10-for-21, hit four homers — in consecutive games — drove in ten and got on base at a .542 clip, leading the suddenly frisky Reds to a 4-2 record.
I should also add that I have this feeling that one day we’ll look back at Jay Bruce’s career a lot like Paul Konerko’s.
Chris Young joined the Phillies as their assistant pitching coach last offseason. This offseason he’s getting a promotion: the Phillies just named as their main (um, top? lead? alpha?) pitching coach for the 2019 season. He replaces Rick Kranitz.
Ken Rosenthal, who reported the promotion, says that the Phillies didn’t necessarily want to shake up their pitching coach situation, but that since several clubs wanted to hire Young away, it was either promote him to the top job or lose him. That’s bad news for Kranitz, but he remains under contract for 2019 and will, in the meantime, be allowed to interview elsewhere.
The Phillies pitching staff ranked 11th in runs allowed in the National League in 2018. They were tenth the year before that, but some early season uncertainty and mismanagement by Gabe Kapler and a late season collapse served to hide what was, for most of the season, a bit of a better staff than the year before. The Phillies obviously credit Young for that and want to keep him in the fold.