Votes of confidence from team brass are superficially nice I suppose, but they often are the harbingers of a manager hitting the unemployment line. It’s probably a correlation/causation issue as you don’t get them unless your team stinks anyway. There is a reason why votes of confidence are often prefaced with “dreaded.” You really don’t want to be in the position to get one in the first place.
That’s what happened with Robin Ventura on Friday night, however, with Kenny Williams doing the voting. From Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com:
On Friday, Williams, the White Sox executive vice president, said he doesn’t believe the White Sox manager or his staff is to blame for the team’s struggles. Ventura had said earlier Friday he feels he has strong support from Williams, general manager Rick Hahn and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, all of who he’s in constant contact with. Ventura joked that Williams’ approval could be seen as a “kiss of death” before noting his appreciation.
Guess we’ll see. The White Sox loaded up on talent in the offseason, trading for Jeff Samardzija and signing David Robertson, Melky Cabrera, Adam LaRoche, Zach Duke, Emilio Bonifacio and Geovany Soto. Despite that they stand at 32-41 which is good for last place in the AL Central.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.