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Ken Rosenthal thinks Blue Jays will fire John Gibbons

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported today that the Jays “seem destined to move on” from manager Gibbons. Gibbons is under contract through 2019 with a 2020 team option, so if Rosenthal is right, that “moving on” would be a firing, not a simple matter of not extending a contract offer.

Gibbons is in his second stint as the Jays’ manager. His first term went from 2004 through the middle of the 2008 season. He was rehired before the 2013 season. At the moment Toronto holds a 51-60 record, which puts them a whopping 27 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The club is poised for a rebuild.

Rosenthal reported over the weekend that Angels manager Mike Scioscia was going to step down from his longtime position following the season. Scioscia denied that report, calling it “poppycock.” I guess we’ll hear later today whether Gibbons has any views on Rosenthal’s reporting.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.