The Cubs restructured their front office a bit on Wednesday, with the departure of Vice President of Player Personnel Oneri Fleita drawing the headlines. That’s undoubtedly the biggest change, given that Fleita brought both Starlin Castro and Carlos Marmol into the organization.
Still, what I found especially interesting was that they dropped both their Manager of Baseball Information, Chuck Wasserstrom, and their Manager of Statistical Analysis, Ari Kaplan. Wasserstrom’s position is being eliminated entirely, as the Cubs have decided that can do without a Baseball Information Manager. One wonders if they’ll re-title Kaplan’s old job, considering those two were the only people in the front office listed as Managers.
Fleita, Wasserstrom and Kaplan were all part of the old guard from before Theo Epstein was brought in last fall. Obviously, Epstein is a believer in statistical analysis, but he’ll want some of his own guys doing work there. Kaplan will remain in the organization for now in a consultant role.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.