Rockies’ search for new manager down to four candidates

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From Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post:

The Rockies’ managerial search has reached the final four: bench coach Tom Runnells, veteran slugger Jason Giambi, former Rockies shortstop Walt Weiss and current Diamondbacks third-base coach Matt Williams.

Williams is the only one who hasn’t had a formal interview, but that will change Monday when he sits down with owner Dick Monfort, GM Dan O’Dowd and senior vice president of major-league operations Bill Geivett.

The Rockies are expected to come to a decision by the end of the week. There isn’t a clear frontrunner, though Giambi has drawn heavy praise from reporters and team officials alike since the search began.

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin a throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.