Report: Robin Ventura is on the hot seat

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To say that the White Sox have struggled lately is an understatement. The club jumped out to a 23-10 record, but have gone 10-23 since and now find themselves at .500. As a result, manager Robin Ventura now finds himself on the hot seat, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.

Per Heyman, the demise of the White Sox isn’t believed to be Ventura’s fault, but some within the organization feel that “it might not hurt to do something.”

The White Sox did well in Ventura’s first year in 2012, going 85-77. But they’ve gone 245-307 (.444) in three and a half seasons since.

Bench coach Rick Renteria is likely to succeed Ventura in the interim if he is indeed fired. As for the thought that the White Sox could bring back former manager Ozzie Guillen, he has apparently “burned bridges.”

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.