Jim Thome wants to be a manager

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Jim Thome hasn’t officially announced his retirement yet, but the 43-year-old joined the White Sox front office as a special assistant to general manager Rick Hahn.

That gig involves going to spring training to work with players beginning next week, but looking beyond that Thome told Daryl Van Shouwen of the Chicago Sun Times that he wants to be a manager some day:

Ultimately, I would love to get back on the field. Last year was so nice to be at home with my kids, watching my son play T-ball and taking my daughter to school every morning, and I love it. But I will say I do miss the game because I am a competitor. You can’t play forever, but the love of the game never leaves your soul. …

I want to look at what the next phase is for me getting back on the field, competing at a high level. There is a side to me that wants to manage someday and prepare myself for it if that opportunity came calling. I’d want to be ready.

Thome played 22 seasons for six different teams and was the most popular person in the clubhouse at every stop among teammates and media members alike, so his transitioning to coaching–and eventually perhaps managing–seems like an obvious fit.

Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife gives birth

Zack Wheeler miss starts
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Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.

Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”

Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.

The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.