The Rundown: Cubs Need New Hitting Coach, Scouting Potential GMs, Red Sox Thump Yanks, Schwarber Evokes Wonderful Memories
“Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged my comb across my head. Found my way downstairs and drank a cup And looking up I noticed I was late.” – The Beatles, A Day in the Life
The Cubs are looking for a new hitting coach and as I’ve done previously in these situations, I am going to nominate Brant Brown. They’ll have to wait until the Dodgers’ season is over, though.
Death, taxes, and the Chicago Cubs replacing their hitting coach at the end of the season.
— Matt Lindner (@mattlindner) October 5, 2021
More importantly, Jed Hoyer needs a GM and the word on the street is he wants to go outside the organization. If that’s indeed the case, there are a few potential candidates who might fit that opening perfectly. Since I’m in nominating mood, I’ll pick a couple I like, despite the fact that I believe the right guy for the job is already in the organization. That would be Craig Breslow, by the way.
- Dana Brown (Braves VP of Scouting) – Brown was a failed outfielder in the Phillies organization when he transitioned to scouting. He’s worked with Atlanta GM and president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos in three organizations dating back to 2002 and has drafted over 40 MLB players for the Phillies, Nationals, and Braves, eight of who have become All-Stars. Under his watch as a scouting director, the Nationals/Expos drafted Chad Cordero, Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, and Jordan Zimmermann. Most of those players helped the Nationals win their first two division titles in 2012 and ’14. Brown is also one of the few guys to fleece Tampa Bay in a trade, acquiring Trea Turner as part of a three-way deal with the Padres and Rays while giving up only Steven Souza, Jr.
- Billy Owens (A’s Director of Player Personnel) – Late last year, it looked like Billy Beane would be leaving Oakland to pursue other interests, and Owens seemed like his natural successor. However, Beane remains with the A’s and Owens deserves a chance to head his own scouting staff. A baseball lifer, Owens is highly regarded among front offices across MLB and might be a person of interest for the Mets’ opening as president of baseball operations. In 22 seasons with the A’s, he’s drafted Sonny Gray, Blake Treinen, Matt Olson, Max Muncy (2012), Matt Chapman, and A.J. Puk. He also drafted Aaron Judge in the 31st round of the 2010 draft, though Judge did not sign.
- Kevin Ibach (Rays Director of Pro Scouting) – If you’ve ever wondered why the Rays seem to slaughter every other team when it comes to trades, Ibach is the mastermind. Making deals and churning the roster has been part of the Rays’ M.O. since Stuart Sternberg took over the team in 2006, most notably flipping older, higher-paid players for young players and prospects. Ibach has been directly responsible for acquiring Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows for Chris Archer, Randy Arozarena and José Martínez for Matthew Liberatore, and Nick Anderson with Trevor Richards for Jesús Sánchez and Ryne Stanek. Last year he got Luis Patino and others for Blake Snell.
Others worthy of consideration include Bobby Heck (Rays), Damon Oppenheimer (Yankees), and Raquel Ferreira (Red Sox). I’ll have more on Ferreira tomorrow.
Cubs News & Notes
- Chicago’s next batting coach will be the team’s seventh in 11 seasons.
- That said, the Cubs clearly need to fix their rotation. They ranked 27th in the majors with a 4.87 ERA and none of their regular starters were below 4.00. Marcus Stroman and Robbie Ray would be great. Kevin Gausman, Steven Matz, Carlos Rodón, and Noah Syndergaard, are some of the other interesting pitchers available, too.
- Tim Stebbins of NBC Sports Chicago has the Cubs’ ’21 season by the numbers.
- Meanwhile, Cubs Insider minor league expert Greg Huss takes a look at this year’s best of the organization’s affiliates.
- Theo Epstein will reportedly meet with the Mets about their front office opening.
From the Front Office
Hoyer will meet with the media today to discuss several topics, including the 2021 season, the team’s path forward, and the dismissal of Anthony Iapoce.
Odds & Sods
Perhaps Álex Rodríguez should frequent the Manhattan strip clubs a little less often.
Alex Rodriguez saying Joey Gallo is a “landing strip” for the fourth time and no one knows what he’s talking about
— MLB Errors (@mlberrors) October 6, 2021
Postseason News & Notes
With last night’s 6-2 victory, the Red Sox will meet the Rays in the ALDS.
Boston is officially back and could give the Rays a run for their money.
Brett Gardner is hoping he has not played his last game for the Yankees.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith had some thoughts about last night’s game and they weren’t very soothing.
The Dodgers, winners of 15 straight home games, will host the Cardinals tonight. St. Louis has won 11 straight on the road.
On August 8, the Cardinals’ chances of making the playoffs were less than two percent. On September 9, the odds were still about 20-to-1. Yet here they are.
St. Louis has one of the best defenses in the league, and it could be the key to tonight’s game.
Muncy will not play tonight, but the Dodgers are hopeful he will be available if they make a long postseason run.
Last Night’s MVPs
- Nathan Eovaldi – He was tough as nails while Gerrit Cole was not. Eovaldi struck out eight batters over 5.1 innings, allowing just one run. Cole managed to get just six outs before getting the hook with nobody out in the 3rd inning.
- Xander Bogaerts – A first-inning two-run bomb and a perfect relay to protect the Red Sox lead were the biggest keys to last night’s game.
- Kyle Schwarber – I think we can all admit he owns Cole, at least in the postseason.
Aaron Judge was out at home on a bad send by Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin with New York trailing 3-1 in the 6th inning. Giancarlo Stanton hit a towering double off the Green Monster with Judge on first base, Kiké Hernández played it perfectly and hit Bogaerts, who was the cutoff man, on one hop. Bogaerts quickly saw Judge running home and threw the ball to catcher Kevin Plawecki, who nailed the runner.
After the game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who is now technically a free agent, sounded incredibly defeated but at peace. If New York goes in another direction, Boone would not be fired per se, but still. Yankees fans are already calling for the return of Joe Girardi.
How About That!
Eddie Robinson, the oldest living ballplayer, passed away yesterday. He was 100 years old.
Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker have some history, and the two will be center stage during the White-Sox Astros division series.
The Rockies and right-hander Antonio Senzatela have agreed to a five-year, $50.5 million extension, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Cleveland has a lot more on their off-season to-do list than simply changing their nickname and branding.
Trevor Bauer is launching a YouTube channel that will focus on baseball content. Way to announce it on the eve of the Dodgers’ Wild Card tilt. Like we care, anyway.
This blast by Schwarber looks incredibly familiar.
2015: Kyle Schwarber hits a home run in the 3rd inning of the Wild Card Game off of Gerrit Cole to give his team a 3-0 lead
2021: Kyle Schwarber hits a home run in the 3rd inning of the Wild Card Game off of Gerrit Cole to give his team a 3-0 lead pic.twitter.com/Md1Lz9aojJ
— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) October 6, 2021
They Said It
- ‘‘Starting pitching is definitely important. Pitching depth, I think we get in this mode of starter. I think if you don’t have true starters, you can find depth in other areas. And that’s a front-office [thing], where you find the value and where all that is.” – David Ross
Tuesday Walk-Up Song
(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) by The Beastie Boys – I loved last night’s game. What a party in Boston!