Heyward and Molina up for Gold Gloves

moheyI had a strong feeling that Heyward would be a strong contender for Rawlings Annual Gold Award, Molina was a given. This will be Heyward’s third time around for the award and Molina’s eighth. This years winners will be announced Nov. 10.

Here is the list of the three players that are up for Gold Gloves at their positions in the National League and American League.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Pitcher
Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays
Sonny Gray, Athletics
Dallas Keuchel, Astros

Catcher
Jason Castro, Astros
Russell Martin, Blue Jays
Salvador Perez, Royals

First Base
Eric Hosmer, Royals
Mike Napoli, Rangers
Mark Teixeira, Yankees

Second Base
Jose Altuve, Astros
Brian Dozier, Twins
Ian Kinsler, Tigers

Third Base
Adrian Beltre, Rangers
Manny Machado, Orioles
Evan Longoria, Rays

Shortstop
Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
Alcides Escobar, Royals
Didi Gregorious, Yankees

Left Field
Yoenis Cespedes, Tigers (he’s now with the Mets, of course)
Brett Gardner, Yankees
Alex Gordon, Royals

Center Field
Kevin Kiermaier, Rays
Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays
Mike Trout, Angels

Right Field
Kole Calhoun, Angels
J.D. Martinez, Tigers
Josh Reddick, Athletics

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitcher
Jake Arrieta, Cubs
Gerrit Cole, Pirates
Zack Greinke, Dodgers

Catcher
Yadier Molina, Cardinals
Buster Posey, Giants
Wilson Ramos, Nationals

First Base
Brandon Belt, Giants
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers

Second Base
Dee Gordon, Marlins
D.J. LeMahieu, Rockies
Brandon Phillies, Reds

Third Base
Nolan Arenado, Rockies
Matt Duffy, Giants
Todd Frazier, Reds

Shortstop
Brandon Crawford, Giants
Adeiny Hechavarria, Marlins
Andrelton Simmons, Braves

Left Field
Starling Marte, Pirates
Justin Upton, Padres
Christian Yelich, Marlins

Center Field
Billy Hamilton, Reds
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks

Right Field
Curtis Granderson, Mets
Bryce Harper, Nationals
Jason Heyward, Cardinals

Source: CBSSports

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Marlins and Mattingly close to a Deal

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Don Mattingly and the Marlins are in serious talks to make him the new manager, and everyone’s expectation is that it will happen.

Mattingly was Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria’s top choice from the start, and sources say the interview Monday went extremely well, with both parties impressed.

The sides have been in talks since then, according to sources.

The Marlins had interviewed at least Larry Bowa, Bo Porter and Manny Acta for the open manager job but the search was put on hold the moment Mattingly and the Dodgers mutually parted ways late last week. Bowa, a good friend of Mattingly, recently dropped out of the running to remain a Phillies coach.

Loria has a relationship with Mattingly from New York, and has long admired him. The owner also insisted on experience this time, and Mattingly managed the Dodgers the last five years.

Mattingly, one of only two managers to win the division the last three seasons (Mike Matheny is the other), has said he wanted to continue managing, and he may get more autonomy and a longer deal with the Marlins.

Neither Mattingly, Loria nor Marlins president Michael Hill could be reached.

Mattingly was due to make $1.6 million from the Dodgers next year, but presumably that will all be offset, as Mattingly’s salary would be expected to easily top that in Miami. Dan Jennings, the GM who filled in ably last year as manager, makes close to $2 million a year.

MLB discourages major announcements during the World Series, so it isn’t known when something could be made official.

Source: Jon Heyman

Raul Mondesi Jr. to be added to Royals Roster

mondiThe Royals had just added AA player Raul Mondesi Jr. He hit .243 with six home runs in 81 games for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals this season. He also played for the World team at the Futures Game during the All-Star break in July. He can play either shortstop or second base. If the name sounds familiar it because his dad is the Dodgers Rookie of the Year in 1994…..Raul Mondesi. This kid will make history for a player with no MLB experience to play in the World Series. To make room on the roster the Royals  designating Joba Chamberlain for assignment. Mondesi takes the spot on the roster that was filled in the previous playoff series by outfielder Terence Lomg  who did not bat in series wins over Houston and Toronto

Here is the scouting report on Raul Mondesi. Mondesi is already familiar with a major league dugout, even if it’s only as a place to find a treasure trove of sunflower seeds and bubble gum. While he lacks his father’s power profile, Junior does have a quality bat, superior speed and sure seems to have sophisticated defensive skill. A smallish player, he looks apt to stick at shortstop, where he could grow into some sort of slappy table-setter for the Royals a few years from now. He’s still some distance away from showing anyone exactly how good he’ll be, but an impressive .290/.346/.386 line as a sixteen-year-old in rookie ball was followed by a .261/.311/.361 line in A-ball last season.

Dodgers In Search of their Next Manager

gabekIt has been reported that soon after the dismissal of Don Mattingly yesterday Gabe Kapler’s name has been the industry wide favorite to become the next Los Angeles Dodgers Manager.

“I have to go work out,” Kapler said.

He smiled, politely declined to comment further and slipped into an elevator.

Here are some excerpts from Twitter on the search for the Dodgers next manager……

  • Padres bench coach Dave Roberts, who was a finalist in the Mariners’ managerial search, will interview for the Dodgers, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Roberts, of course, had a 10-year playing career as an outfielder and stole one of the most famous bases in recent history in the 2004 ALCS. He’s been coaching for the Padres since 2011, beginning as a first-base coach.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that he’s spoken to a number of people in the past day who said they’d be stunned if anyone other than Kapler is named manager in Los Angeles.

Earlier Updates

  • Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles tweets that he’s hearing Mets bench coach Bob Geren will be in the mix for the Dodgers’ opening. Geren, 54, managed the Athletics from 2007-11, so Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi is plenty familiar with him.
  • Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler is a “serious frontrunner” for the job, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com, who acknowledges that the process is only just beginning. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported earlier this morning (via Twitter) that Kapler was considered a candidate. While he only has minimal managerial experience in the low minors, Kapler is a highly respected former player who has long been viewed as a budding managerial prospect.
  • Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times lists some names to keep an eye on, with Kapler among them. Other strong possibilities to come under consideration by the Dodgers, per Shaikin, include former Rays and current Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez, former Padres skipper Bud Black, current Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach, and recently-hired Dodgers third base coach Ron Roenicke.

Source: MLBtraderumors

2015 Cardinals Coaching Staff Returns for another Season

coachesThe Cardinals announced that all eight coaches will be back next year which is not surprising. Since the early departure of the Cardinals from the playoffs I have heard the fans speak. First it was fire Mabry and then get rid of Matheny! Well the Cardinal brass still wanted them to come back. In a way it is good to bring them back  in hopes of working with those that are still in need of improvement and others that need to be consistent. On then other hand Lilliquist’s pitching staff led the majors in ERA this past season, the first time in his tenure that it’s done that. It did so with a 2.94 ERA, the lowest for a Cardinals pitching staff since 1969. Mabry replaced Mark McGwire as hitting coach after the 2012 season and in his first year in the role the Cardinals hit .330 with runners in scoring position and led the league in scoring. Since, the lineup has seen a decline in power and runs scored, and this year the offense set a club record with 1,267 strikeouts which is 134 more than 2014’s 1133. Mike Matheny’s contract extension ends in 2017. Here is a list of the returning coaches.

Pitching coach: Derek Lilliquist (5th year/15th in organization)
Hitting coach: John Mabry (4th year/5th in organization)
Bench coach: David Bell (2nd year/3rd in organization)
First base coach: Chris Maloney (5th year/22nd in organization)
Third base coach: Jose Oquendo (17th year/20th in organization)
Assistant hitting coach: Bill Mueller (2nd year/2nd in organization)
Bullpen coach: Blaise Ilsley (4th year/13th in organization)
Bullpen catcher: Jamie Pogue (5th year/5th in organization)

Source: St. Louis Cardinals/Derrick Goold

Ballpark Digest ranks Autozone Park

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New owners usually mean ballpark changes, and that was especially true in Memphis this past season, when the St. Louis Cardinals took over the Redbirds and immediately committed to a series of ballpark changes that significantly enhanced the fan experience. The extensive improvements earned AutoZone Park Ballpark Digest’s Best Ballpark Renovation (Over $6M) for 2015.

“AutoZone Park has always been one of the leading venues in Minor League Baseball, but there’s no doubt it had become a dated facility,” said Kevin Reichard, Ballpark Digest publisher. “With the St. Louis Cardinals coming on board as owners, it was clearly important to Cards team leaders and the Redbirds front office that the fan experience be significantly enhanced.”

That was accomplished with an offseason renovation that stressed an enhanced fan experience. With an emphasis on the fan experience, ballpark renovations made by the Cardinals include installation of a state-of-the-art LED videoboard in left field, LED ribbon board displays, thirty-nine four tops, a right-field destination BBQ food area, a new left field bar, additional berm seating, an expanded and upgraded club level, AutoZone Park’s first all-inclusive club in right field, playing field replacement and more.

As part of the 2014 long-term lease agreement between the St. Louis Cardinals and the city of Memphis, $4.5 million in bond proceeds were set aside to make capital improvements to AutoZone Park. The St. Louis Cardinals added more than $2 million in additional capital improvement money as well. Construction was overseen by Montgomery Martin Contractors of Memphis. Architecture designs were provided by Pendulum Studio II LLC of Kansas City.

“We’re extremely honored to have AutoZone Park recognized by Ballpark Digest,” said Redbirds General Manager Craig Unger. “The substantial improvements made this past year enhanced the ballpark and the guest experience while allowing AutoZone Park to continue to provide affordable, family-friendly entertainment in downtown Memphis.”

The total renovation project included:

  • New state-of-the-art LED videoboard displays, including a new 14’ x 140’ HD LED Video Wall in left field and two new 3’ x 150’ HD LED Ribbon Boards along the first and third base façades within the seating bowl.
  • A BBQ-themed free-standing structure was constructed on the outfield concourse in right field.
  • Relocated berm seating: Fixed seats in the left field and right field corners were removed to create two new grass berm seating areas to maintain affordable tickets that are closer to the action on the field and fan amenities.
  • A new left-field bar features high-top tables, drink rails, and TVs.
  • Four existing suites behind home plate were removed to create a more vibrant club atmosphere and signature view of AutoZone park for both baseball and non-baseball events. This improved and larger indoor group space features retractable windows, more TVs, and a full service 360-degree bar.
  • Four existing suites in right field were removed to create AutoZone Park’s first public all-inclusive area, which featured retractable windows, a full service bar, indoor/outdoor seating, pool tables, and TVs, draft beer, and house wines.
  • Twenty-nine suites were be renovated with replaced floor covering, new lounge furniture, drink rails, casework, wall and ceiling finishes.
  • Various Concourse Improvements: Additional TV screens added to concourses and public areas around the stadium. Concession stands throughout the main concourse will also receive various upgrades.

“Memphis is a great baseball town, and the Cardinals are a top-notch organization,” Reichard said. “With the Redbirds management clearly committed to a great fan experience, the AutoZone Park upgrades should well-serve fans for years to come.”

ABOUT THE BALLPARK DIGEST AWARDS

Each year Ballpark Digest honors noteworthy accomplishments in the baseball world, whether it be Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, independent baseball, summer-collegiate baseball or college baseball. Team officials and readers are asked to submit nominations for awards in specific categories; Ballpark Digest editors then go though the submissions (numbering some 400 pages of documentation in 2015), consulting with industry leaders before a final decision. This is the seventh season for the Ballpark Digest Awards. A complete listing of Ballpark Digest Awards can be found at www.ballparkdigest.com/awards. The award winners will be honored at a Baseball Winter Meetings reception.

ABOUT BALLPARK DIGEST/AUGUST PUBLICATIONS

The leading Website covering the culture and business of baseball since its inception in 2002, Ballpark Digest (www.ballparkdigest.com) has been called an “indispensable” guide to baseball and ballparks by The New York Times; it’s been used as a source by publications and Websites ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Epicurious.com.August Publications is a publisher based in Middleton, Wis. Besides Ballpark Digest, August Publications websites include SpringTrainingOnline.com, ArenaDigest.com, SoccerStadiumDigest.com and FootballStadiumDigest.com.

Source: St. Louis Cardinals

The end of Donnie Baseball

donnieThis morning the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that Don Mattingly has parted ways with the organization.

“The Los Angeles Dodgers and Don Mattingly have mutually agreed that Mattingly will not return to manage the club in 2016,” the team said in a statement.

Though Mattingly reportedly felt he was treated well by the Dodgers’ front office, he did not feel he had garnered long-term support, Heyman reported

“I’m honored and proud to have had the opportunity to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers,” Mattingly said in a statement. “I’ve enjoyed my experiences and relationships with the organization’s staff and players throughout my eight years in L.A.

Well when managers leave that means the rest of the coaches will need to find a new job elsewhere.

Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman said the coaches had been contacted Thursday and told they were free to pursue other job opportunities.

“We talked to them this morning, reached out to various guys,” Friedman said. “Obviously we wished we had more answers to provide. We don’t. This process is just getting underway. The Dodgers’ primary coaching staff in 2015 included Tim Wallach (bench), Rick Honeycutt (pitching), Mark McGwire (hitting), Davey Lopes (first base, running), Ron Roenicke (third base), Lorenzo Bundy(outfield), Chuck Crim (bullpen) and John Valentin (assistant hitting). I have heard that the Marlins would be interested in Mattingly Two candidates that would be considered as manager includes Tim Wallach and Ron Roenicke.

source: Jon Heyman