MLB: Some news and notes for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Some news and notes for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Usually during World Series time and the month of November, it is quiet on the baseball front for trades, signings and coaching movement, but the Diamondbacks will have some work to do to fill their coaching vacancies (and possibly a manager vacancy as well).
We have already seen changes early on in this offseason for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Pitching coach, Charles Nagy, and first base coach, Steve Sax, were let go and now hitting coach, Don Baylor, has left to join the Angles. Matt Williams is the leading candidate for the Washington Nationals job and now we learn that Jim Leyland has announced his retirement from managing the Detroit Tigers. Can you hear the calls for Kirk Gibson to be the next Tigers manager? The Diamondbacks have already said Gibson will be back for 2014, but let’s see if the Tigers get permission to talk to him.
There also was a player signing, as the Diamondbacks signed Matt Reynolds to a one year deal with an option for 2015. Reynolds was impressive in his brief time last season out of the bullpen until he was hurt, but the Diamondbacks front office saw enough from him to sign him for the future.
Reynolds is unlikely to pitch much (if at all) this up-coming season, as he underwent Tommy John surgery on September 24th, and the recovery period for that surgery is about 12 months. The Diamondbacks did get him for a decent salary. He is set to make $550,000 next season and $600,000 in 2015. He was a valuable piece of the bullpen in the first half of the 2013 season. He had two saves and a 1.98 ERA in 30 appearances. He had consecutive saves in San Francisco on April 23-24 and was not scored upon in his first 19 outings through May 11, while striking out 16 and walking one in 17 2/3 innings.
Let’s take a look at the Diamondback players invited to play in the Arizona Fall League: there are two pitchers who are currently playing for the Salt River Rafters that could be invited to Spring Training 2014, Matt Stites and Jake Barrett, who are both relief pitchers and could easily be groomed as MLB closers. Keep in mind neither of these pitchers have played above Double A, but both had extraordinary 2013 numbers: Barrett was 3-2, 1.21 ERA, 52 games, with 52 innings pitched, 39 hits, 13 walks, 59 strikeouts, and 29 saves, while Stites was 2-2, 2.08 ERA, 46 games, 52 innings pitched, 37 hits 9 walks, 51 strikeouts, and 14 saves. Stites was one of the two players along with and a compensatory-round draft pick traded for Ian Kennedy. The Diamondbacks received Joe Thatcher in that trade as well.
Regardless of what happens in the Arizona Fall League this year, it sounds as though both men have an excellent chance of breaking camp with the big club. After last season’s frustrations with the bullpen, that will be welcome news for the Diamondback fans.
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