Jim Bowden on a twitter post said that “Jack Zduriencik just told us on the #FrontOffice that he expects Eric Wedge to be back managing the M’s in 2014 & he’s a big fan.” Zduriencik didn’t comment on his own status, citing team policy. He is reportedly already under contract for next year.
At an item in MLBTrade Rumors attributed to Zach Links, “ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark turned to executives, scouts, and other baseball people to try and figure out what has gone wrong with Josh Hamilton since he joined the Angels. While some expressed doubt over whether he can rebound, GM Jerry Dipoto said that he’s confident that his sizable investment will pay off. “I still believe in Josh’s physical ability. I still believe in the player. … And we’ve seen signs, over the last three weeks [as Hamilton has put up a .329/.414/.539 slash line over a 19-game stretch], that he’s getting back to doing the things that Josh Hamilton does,” the GM said.
Here’s more out of the AL and NL West…
Baseball America ranked the Angels’ minor league system the worst in the game last winter. John Manuel, editor in chief of Baseball America, said the Angels’ system might well be ranked worst again this winter. “They need help everywhere,” Manuel said. “It’s like one of those big ships going in the wrong direction. It’s hard to turn those things around. The Astros, in the same division, have been much worse at the big-league level, but they’re turning around faster.”
In a poll conducted by MLB Trade Rumors Jeff Todd asked “which team do you think made the wisest late-summer acquisition(s) for the stretch?” Two-thirds of their readers felt that the Pirates acquisition of Marlon Byrd, John Buck, and Justin Morneau in separate moves was the most successful. The Bucs sent Dilson Herrera and Vic Black to the Mets, which was probably the biggest prospect haul of any of the August deals. Next, the Pirates added Morneau to the club’s first base mix from the Twins for little more than the remainder of his salary.
Mariner’s potential off-season targets
Royals pitcher Ervin Santana tops the list of free-agents-to-be who have improved their stock this season, says ESPN’s Buster Olney (subscription required, and recommended). Santana, who has a 3.19 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in a breakout 2013 season, was No. 7 on Tim Dierkes’ 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings last month. On the flip side, Olney argues that Josh Johnson and Mike Morse have seen their stock dip further than any other 2013-14 free agents, although he also lists eight more,” according to Charlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors.
Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors has posted an updated list of the Hardest throwing 2014 free agents and his list of Highest ground ball rates among 2014 free agents. They are well worth a read.
FanGraph’s Dave Cameron, in an ESPN Insider subscription-required piece says, “there’s one area where this free agent class is actually quite interesting: broken-but-perhaps-fixable formerly great pitchers. Among the hurlers who will hit the open market this year: Roy Halladay (2010 NL Cy Young), Tim Lincecum (2008, ’09 NL Cy Young), Dan Haren (three-time All-Star, finished seventh in 2011 NL Cy Young vote) and Josh Johnson (two-time All-Star, finished fifth in 2010 NL Cy Young vote). Just a couple of years ago, this quartet would have made up the best rotation in baseball, as they combined to throw 749 innings and post a 2.67 ERA in 2011.”
They said so
“For what fathomable reason do the Dodgers need Michael Young? Does Juan Uribe need a kidney?” – Jay Jaffe
“When you sign a free agent for one year, you know you are dealing in a highly speculative market,” – Mark Shapiro, Indians President.
By the numbers
The Dodgers’ 50 wins in 63 games since June 22 is the lowest total of games they have ever needed to reach 50 wins. Only two other teams since 1945 have needed so few games to get 50 wins: the 1954 Indians won 50 of 62 decisions and the 2001 Mariners who also won 50 of 63 games.
Mariner’s relievers lead the Majors averaging 9.84 K/9.0 IP…Danny Farquhar (3rd, 13.79), Oliver Perez (6th, 12.71) and Charlie Furbush (9th, 11.91) are among AL leaders. —Mariners.mlb.com
Mike Trout’s on-base percentage by month this year: April .333, May .409, June .433, July .476, August .500. 1st game in Sept.: 3 hits,1 BB. —Buster Olney
Dustin Ackley is 16-for-27 (.593) with 30 RBI in his career with bases loaded, 5-for-9 (.556) with 10 RBI this season. —Mariners.mlb.com
Wil Myers, who was hitting .331/.368/.532 in 35 games on July 30, has hit just .215/.321/.323 since. —mlb.si.com
Mariners have hit 50 HR in 7th inning or later, good for 2nd in the AL. They also lead MLB with 25 HR in the first inning (8 leadoff). They rank 2nd in the AL with 6 HR in extra innings. Nap time occurs between innings two and seven. —mariners.mlb.com
On the farm
New outfielder Xavier Avery, acquired from Baltimore in exchange for Michael Morse on Friday, was 5-for-5 with a double, a leadoff homer, 3 runs and 3 RBI for the (AAA) Tacoma Rainiers versus Sacramento on Sunday in Tacoma. From mariners.mlb.com.
The Pulaski Mariners punched their ticket to the Appalachian League Finals with 6-4 win over the Bluefield Blue Jays. Eddie Campbell struck out nine; Gabrial Franca clubbed two clutch doubles. The Pulaski Mariners finished off a series sweep in round one of the Appy League playoffs, wiping away the Bluefield Blue Jays Sunday night at Calfee Park with a 6-4 victory. Pulaski’s win was the second is as many nights over the Jays and locked them into the Appy Championship Series for the first time since 2008. By Cheyne Reiter at milb.com.