Tim Lincecum Undergoes Season-Ending Hip Surgery

Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum underwent season-ending hip surgery this morning, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Giants GM Bobby Evans said Thursday in a KNBR radio appearance that Lincecum is out for the season, though he did not definitively mention Lincecum’s surgical procedure (hat tip: Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle). Said Evans:

“He won’t be able to come back this season. That’s evident. He went to Colorado to see a specialist and get a second opinion and get an evaluation with the prospect that he will have surgery. The next step for him is to do everything he can and get back and get well, but it’s going to take him out for the season. What that leads to in terms of his progression healthwise will dictate what opportunities he has with us or elsewhere.”

As Schulman notes, the injury may very well bring to a close Lincecum’s historic career as a member of the Giants.

Selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2006 draft, Lincecum debuted in 2007 as a hard-throwing 23-year-old, tossing 146 1/3 innings of 4.00 ERA ball and averaging better than a strikeout per inning with initially shaky control. The control woes quickly dissipated, however, as Lincecum won consecutive Cy Young Awards in his next two seasons. From 2008-11, there were few pitchers in the game that were decisively better than “The Freak,” whose unorthodox delivery and dominant results won the hearts of Giants fans. Over that four-year stretch, Lincecum posted a 2.81 ERA with 10.0 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 in 881 2/3 innings, earning All-Star honors each year.

Since that time, though, Lincecum’s career has gone in the opposite direction. He’s lost the mid-90s fastball that he had in his early to mid-20s, and he averaged just 87.2 mph on his vastly diminished heater this year. Lincecum inked a two-year, $35MM extension after the 2013 season despite marginal bottom-line results (sabermetric stats pegged him in a more optimistic light), but he hasn’t lived up to that deal. In the end, he’ll have pitched just 232 innings with a 4.54 ERA to show for it under that contract.

Schulman writes that Lincecum “surely will not get a Major League deal” from the Giants this offseason, and if that’s the case, it does seem likely that his days with San Francisco are coming to a close. Barring an exorbitant recovery timetable from this operation, it’s tough to imagine that no team would give Lincecum a big league deal, his lack of recent results notwithstanding.

Heyman wrote earlier this week that Lincecum was seeing renowned hip specialist Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo. Per Heyman’s report, surgery would most likely have Lincecum ready in time for Spring Training, and there’s a belief among some doctors that the dip in velocity is partially tied to his hip troubles.

Dodgers To Promote Corey Seager

10:15am: Part of the reason for Seager’s recall is that fellow shortstop option Jose Peraza is dealing with a sore hamstring that will sideline him for three to five games, leaving the team with no backup shortstop, tweets Rosenthal. Kiké Hernandez, another option, is still on the disabled list with his own hamstring injury.

9:05am: The Dodgers are calling up top infield prospect Corey Seager, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Seager is ranked by many as the game’s top overall prospect.

Corey Seager

The 21-year-old Seager is the younger brother of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager and is a former first-round pick (18th overall in 2012). Seager has steadily risen up prospect charts over the course of his pro career and currently ranks No. 1 overall per Baseball America, ESPN’s Keith Law and Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel. MLB.com ranks him second in the game, placing him behind only Minnesota’s Byron Buxton.

Seager has split the 2015 season between Double-A and Triple-A, where he has accumulated a combined .292/.343/.486 batting line with 18 homers, 36 doubles and three triples on the season. Though he’s spent much of his career at shortstop, Seager has played some third base this season, and all of the prospect rankings above mention that he seems likely to eventually transition to the hot corner due to his size (6’4″, 215 pounds). MLB.com notes that he has the arm and instincts to handle shortstop but lacks the quickness one would typically expect out of a shortstop.

For the remainder of the 2015 season, however, Seager could get looks at both shortstop and third base. Jimmy Rollins has struggled with the bat for most of the season (though he’s been better of late, slashing .262/.313/.436 over an admittedly arbitrary sample of his past 37 games), and Justin Turner is presently dealing with an injured finger. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets, the Dodgers’ previous mentality had been that they wouldn’t promote Seager unless he had a spot to play, so perhaps Turner’s hand is worse than they’ve let on, or the team simply had a change of heart.

From a service time standpoint, Seager currently would project to be a free agent after the 2021 season and would not be in line to achieve Super Two designation along the way. Of course, that assumes that the Dodgers will keep him in the Major Leagues from this point forth. Seager could certainly struggle in the Majors in his first cup of coffee, prompting further minor league time. The Dodgers could see long-term benefit from keeping him in the minors a bit longer, as delaying his 2015 debut into mid-May would buy the team an additional year of control over Seager by delaying his free agency until after the 2022 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NL East Notes: Brown, Nats, Black, Murphy

Domonic Brown‘s career with the Phillies may be over, writes Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Brown tumbled over the right field wall while trying to make a catch in last night’s game and exited the contest to be tested for concussion symptoms. He’s not traveling with the team to Boston and will instead meet with a specialist today. Brown has had concussions in the past, and if he’s determined to have one now, it could spell the end of his season and his Phillies tenure alike, as the 28-year-old former top prospect is due a raise on his $2.5MM salary this winter via the arbitration process. Brown is batting .228/.284/.349 in 63 games this season and hasn’t produced since a May surge back in 2013 that led him to an All-Star berth.

Here’s more from the NL East…

  • The Nationals added another pair of arms to a beleaguered bullpen by calling up Matt Grace and Rafael Martin, and James Wagner of the Washington Post writes that additional arms, including A.J. Cole, could be on the way. The Nats could’ve used the extra bullpen help earlier this week, but GM Mike Rizzo explained to Wagner that the team felt OK about its bullpen depth, not expecting Joe Ross to last just 2 2/3 innings in the shortest start of his career.
  • Right-hander Vic Black will be a minor league free agent this offseason after being outrighted by the Mets, but the hard-throwing reliever told NJ.com’s Mike Vorkunov that he hopes to return to the Mets. Black, 27, has been slowed by injuries this season but entered the year expected to be a big contributor in the bullpen. He’s planning to pitch in winter ball to make up for some of the lost innings from 2015. Black admits that his emotions have ranged “from angry to confused to frustrated to bewildered” but says he can’t imagine playing elsewhere: “I love the guys, I love the city and I certainly don’t want to go anywhere else. … Loyalty is a big part of who I am.”
  • Daniel Murphy exited the Mets‘ Wednesday contest due to quadriceps discomfort and won’t travel with the team to Miami for its weekend series, writes MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. He’ll be examined by a specialist on today’s off-day, though the team, for now, is calling the move precautionary.

AL Central Notes: Johnson, Berrios, Floyd, Indians

White Sox right-hander Erik Johnson‘s resurgent season at Triple-A has placed the former top prospect firmly on the map for a rotation spot in 2016, GM Rick Hahn tells Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. After a 6.73 ERA in 105 2/3 innings at Triple-A last season, Johnson has turned in a 2.37 mark over 132 2/3 frames with 9.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. As Kane writes, Johnson will be working in relief initially, but he’s likely to make some starts later this month in what could be a preview for the 2016 season.

Here’s more from the AL Central…

  • The Twins will not call up top pitching prospect Jose Berrios this season, GM Terry Ryan told reporters, including MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger. The 21-year-old’s innings total is a concern to the Twins, Ryan explained, especially considering the fact that Berrios is of slighter frame than many pitchers. Berrios ranks as one of the game’s best prospects, including No. 23 on MLB.com’s Top 100, No. 7 per Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel, No. 21 per ESPN’s Keith Law and No. 19 per Baseball America.
  • The Indians activated right-hander Gavin Floyd from the DL when rosters expanded in September, and manager Terry Francona told reporters, including MLB.com’s Jamie Ross, that Floyd is healthy enough to work out of the bullpen in the season’s final month. Francona said the Indians, however, owe it to Floyd to be careful with his surgically repaired right elbow because “he’s got more career ahead of him.” Floyd signed a one-year, $4MM contract this winter and re-fractured the olecranon bone in his right elbow in Spring Training — an injury that was initially believed to have ended his season. He made his Indians debut today, though, and fired a perfect inning from the ‘pen.
  • Cleveland.com’s Zack Meisel looks at some of departing Indians president Mark Shapiro’s comments from his press conference announcing his move to Toronto. Meisel breaks down Shapiro’s response to his biggest challenge with Cleveland — Shapiro diplomatically hinted at payroll constraints while noting that market size can’t be used as an excuse for lack of results — as well as Shapiro’s comments on the Michael Bourn/Nick Swisher signings.

Phillies Notes: Amaro, Mackanin, Franco

Ruben Amaro Jr.’s job security has long been a narrative throughout baseball, but retiring Phillies president Pat Gillick tells MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki that the team isn’t yet making a decision on the GM’s future. “We just got by the Trade Deadline,” Gillick told Zolecki. “Consequently, we’re moving a lot of people in the Minor Leagues from [Jerad] Eickhoff to [Alec] Asher and others. We’ve had our hands full. It’s a decision that will be made in the next 30 days or so.” As Zolecki notes, the Phillies have gone from one of the game’s worst farm systems to one of the stronger minor league systems over the course of the past year, and Amaro has done well to get value for aging veterans. Gillick said he believes that Phillies fans are knowledgeable and recognize that Amaro has done some good work recently, though he stopped short of making any definitive statement about Amaro’s future. President-to-be Andy MacPhail wouldn’t comment when asked by Zolecki — MacPhail is currently not granting interviews to anyone, he notes — and Amaro simply said that he’s hopeful of remaining with the organization and excited for the future.

Here’s more from the National League…

  • Interim manager Pete Mackanin’s future is also up in the air, but CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury hears that the work he’s done so far has taken him from a strictly interim skipper to a legitimate candidate for the permanent position. Mackanin received an overwhelming vote of confidence from division-rival skipper Terry Collins (of the Mets). “The energy level they have right now is completely different than it was a month ago, two months ago when we played them,” Collins told Salisbury. “…[Mackanin] has a tremendous sense of humor. He’s a people person. I’ve known him for years, and the first time I met him, we just meshed. He’s an upbeat guy. He’s funny. He’s got the players’ attention. I hope he gets the chance. I hope when they sit down at the end of the year, they realize what they’ve got. He’s done it with young players.”
  • The Phillies had begun to express optimism that Maikel Franco could return to the Majors this season, but as Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, Franco’s chances took a hit this afternoon. Franco felt discomfort in his left wrist (which he fractured last month) while taking soft-toss swings at Citi Field today, Kaplan explains. If he doesn’t show improvement over the next week, the team may just shut him down for the remainder of the year. Mackanin told reporters that the odds of Franco returning this season are “50-50,” though Franco notes that those odds are perhaps too generous. Franco was firmly in the NL Rookie of the Year mix when he was hit by a pitch and landed on the DL; he was hitting .277/.340/.490 with 13 homers in 326 plate appearances at the time of the injury.

Marlins Begin Making Front Office Changes

There’s been plenty written about the looming change in the Marlins’ front office, and MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports the first wave of personnel shakeups in Miami. Per Frisaro, vice president of player development Marty Scott and vice president of player personnel Craig Weissmann were reassigned yesterday. Meanwhile, vice president of scouting Stan Meek was given an extension through the 2017 season, meaning he’ll continue overseeing the Marlins’ draft for the foreseeable future.

Frisaro, like many others, notes that manager Dan Jennings is expected to return to the front office following the season (Frisaro, the Miami Herald, FOX Sports and CBS Sports have all written on this recently). Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote late last night that a meeting of the team’s higher-ups was set for Thursday, at which point Jennings will be offered a role in the front office. However, the Herald’s Clark Spencer reported yesterday that the relationship between Jennings and owner Jeffrey Loria has become strained, so it’s not certain what type of role he’ll have waiting for him. In the event that Jennings doesn’t return to the GM chair, both Spencer and FOX’s Ken Rosenthal have noted that assistant GM Mike Berger could be a candidate to fill the void on a long-term basis. (Berger has already stepped up and taken on some of Jennings’ former GM duties.)

Beyond front office changes, Heyman writes that the Marlins are planning an “exhaustive” search to find an experienced manager to take over for Jennings. According to Heyman, Don Mattingly has long been of interest to Loria, though he, of course, is under contract with the Dodgers beyond 2015. A disappointing finish could have some impact on his standing with the organization, particularly due to the fact that he was a hire of the previous front office regime, but for the time being Mattingly isn’t available as an option for the Marlins. Heyman speculatively lists experienced names such as Dusty Baker, Ron Gardenhire, Bud Black, Larry Bowa, Jim Riggleman and Rick Renteria, among others, as candidates.

Frisaro and Spencer have both written recently that further changes are expected throughout the organization, with the scouting department among the areas that could be overhauled.

Padres Designate Chris Rearick For Assignment

The Padres announced that they have once again designated left-hander Chris Rearick for assignment as part of a series of roster moves. Rearick’s 40-man roster spot will go to catcher Rocky Gale, whose contract has been selected from Triple-A El Paso.

The 27-year-old Rearick has been on a DFA roller coaster as of late. San Diego initially designated him for assignment on Aug. 21, after which the Rangers claimed him. However, Texas designated Rearick just days later, at which point the Padres re-claimed him off waivers. That claim was on Aug. 30, but he’s once again been designated just 72 hours later.

Rearick made his big league debut with the Padres this season, appearing in five games and allowing four runs in three innings of work. Rearick has also struggled at the Triple-A level this season, working to a 5.23 ERA with more walks (30) than strikeouts (28) in 43 innings. Lefties have hit Rearick considerably harder than righties, though both have squared him up quite often, it would seem. Those struggles notwithstanding, Rearick has already had at least two teams feel that he’s worthy of a 40-man roster spot, so there’s at least a chance that he’ll yet again be claimed on waivers for what would be the third time in a span of about two weeks.

Minor MLB Transactions: 9/2/15

Here are the day’s minor moves …

  • The Pirates have selected the contract of infielder Pedro Florimon, the club announced. Florimon, 28, was outrighted recently after seeing 15 games of action with the big league club. He required a 40-man spot, which was opened when the Bucs placed righty Deolis Guerra on the 60-day DL. Though he’s compiled only a .201/.264/.297 batting line in his 713 career MLB plate appearances, Florimon possesses a highly-regarded glove and figures to provide a defensive option for Pittsburgh down the stretch.

Extension Candidate: Justin Turner

Every winter, we cover a host of seemingly minor signings — veteran utility players, swingmen, platoon outfielders, etc. — as teams fill out their rosters by adding depth and competition in areas of uncertainty. It’s unusual for such deals to have truly significant impact.

But minor league signings can be hugely important. The Tigers, for instance, have rightly received ample attention for their immensely beneficial decision to bring in late-blooming slugger J.D. Martinez, who engineered a hard-to-predict turnaround through carefully thought-out changes in his swing mechanics and approach.

As good as Martinez has been, though, there’s an argument to be made that Justin Turner was the more insightful breakout signing of the winter of 2014. Turner languished on the market until February, when the Dodgers — then still under the command of Ned Colletti — swooped in with a minor league deal that ultimately paid out just $1MM.

July 12, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) during a stoppage in play in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

At the time, Turner was a 29-year-old utility infielder who carried an approximately league-average batting line. He profiled as a solid-enough defender at third who delivered usable, but inferior, glovework up the middle.

It looked like a nice get for the Dodgers, who committed nothing but a spring invite, but hardly seemed a game-changing addition. With two more years of arb control, there was some added value since Los Angeles effectively picked up option years at values that would be dictated by his performance.

What seemed to be solid value has turned into an unbelievable bargain. Over 672 plate appearances in Dodger blue, Turner owns a .314/.379/.501 slash line with 22 home runs and eight stolen bases. There were some questions whether he could keep things up this year after posting a .404 BABIP in 2014, but Turner has thrived by increasing his power output even as his batting average on balls in play has fallen back to normal levels.

It’s questionable, to be sure, whether he can maintain the power surge that has pushed his isolated slugging mark to over .200. Turner’s 15.6% home run per flyball rate in 2015 may be unsustainable — that’s a career-best by a significant margin — but he has obviously learned something about driving the ball that seems likely to stick. Building off improvements in his contact profile that were evident in his 2013 numbers with the Mets, the 2015 version of Turner makes hard contact in approximately one third of his plate appearances while generating the same soft contact rate (10.8%) as Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Cabrera.

On the defensive side of the ledger, Turner continues to receive fairly poor defensive metrics when playing at second and short. But he’s spent most of his time at the hot corner, and both UZR and Defensive Runs saved value him as an above-average defender there over the last two years.

Needless to say, the aggregate package is quite good. Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference credit Turner with about 6.5 to 7 wins above replacement since the start of 2014. That’s all the more impressive given his somewhat limited plate appearances — he was a part-timer last year and missed time with injury this year — meaning it was accrued in about a full season’s worth of regular playing time. And it’s not as if Turner has succeeded because he’s been limited to situations with the platoon advantage; he’s actually delivered significantly better numbers against right-handed pitching this season and over his career.

It’s not clear whether the Dodgers’ new front office will pursue a new deal with Turner, but this coming offseason presents an obvious opportunity to do so. Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley will all be free agents after this year, assuming the team declines Utley’s option. While the organization has some immediate options — Corey Seager, Enrique Hernandez, and Jose Peraza chief among them — none have had the chance to establish themselves fully at the big league level. Hector Olivera, of course, has already been cleared out of the picture with a mid-season trade.

From Turner’s perspective, too, there are some good reasons to consider such an arrangement. He earned a relatively meager $2.5MM in 2015, and will be in line for a significant raise. But Turner will still be a great value for next season, will remain a year away from the open market, and will then be signing in advance of his age-32 season.

If the sides choose to chat, it will be difficult to find comparable players. Late-career breakouts are hardly unheard of, but even premium players such as Jose Bautista and Corey Kluber have signed extensions at rather reasonable prices with shorter track records to work from.

And there is one obvious comp: Martin Prado, a similarly-profiling defender, who inked a four-year, $40MM pact with the Diamondbacks the winter before he would have reached free agency. Prado was then entering his age-29 season and had a longer history of good offensive production and strong defensive work around the field. But he was also just one year removed from a down season and had not shown the same offensive ceiling that Turner has established.

All told, that contract seems to provide a useful starting point for talks between the Dodgers and Turner’s representatives at the Legacy Agency. Of course, whether or not an extension can be reached (or will even be pursued) depends on the motivations of all involved, but a big new contract for Turner seems a reasonably plausible scenario.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Best August 31st Outfield Addition

The August 31st trade deadline — for adding players to an organization who will be eligible for the post-season — is not nearly as celebrated as the July 31st version. To be sure, most significant deals occur at the earlier date, since thereafter players must clear revocable waivers (or be claimed by the acquiring team) to be dealt.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. This year, several clubs were in competition to add outfield options as September approached. On deadline day alone, five players who figure as platoon/reserve options changed hands.

So, which of these moves looks to provide the best value to the acquiring team? (Links to posts on acquisitions; poll order randomized.)

Cubs acquire Austin Jackson from Mariners — Jackson will cost Chicago $1MM, a player to be named later, and an international bonus slot ($211,100). In exchange, the Cubs get a center field-capable player who has fallen why shy of his early-career numbers since heading to Seattle. He’s always maintained even platoon splits, so he’s not exactly a typical time-share candidate, but he provides flexibility across the outfield.

Royals acquire Jonny Gomes from Braves — Kansas City took on about $380K of Gomes’ remaining salary and parted with young infielder Luis Valenzuela to add the veteran. Gomes is a classic late-season add: he’s a valued member of the clubhouse and mauls left-handed pitching, making him a limited but useful role player.

Giants acquire Alejandro De Aza from Red Sox — While they won’t owe De Aza much (if anything) in the way of salary, San Francisco did have to give up an interesting (but underperforming) arm in Luis Ysla. In De Aza, San Francisco gets a player who has hit well in recent months and traditionally performs well against right-handed pitching.

Dodgers acquire Justin Ruggiano from Mariners, Chris Heisey from Blue Jays — Los Angeles took a different approach from the teams listed above, adding two right-handed bats who could end up serving in platoon roles with expanded rosters and possibly competing for a single post-season roster spot. Both have spent much of the year in Triple-A, and cost little to add.

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AL East Notes: Bundy, Eveland, Yankees, Craig

The Orioles will begin to get an idea of where things stand with former top prospect Dylan Bundy, as he’s been cleared to begin a throwing program, MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski tweets. It’ll be important for Baltimore to get a read on the righty, as he’ll be out of options next year. Now nearly 23, Bundy remains talented and rather youthful. But he’s thrown just 63 1/3 competitive, regular season innings since the end of the 2012 campaign.

Here’s more from the AL East:

  • Orioles lefty Dana Eveland had an opt-out date yesterday, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter), but he remains listed on the roster of the Triple-A Norfolk Tides. It would appear, then, that he’ll stay in the Baltimore organization and hope that his solid numbers at Triple-A earn him another chance at big league action late this year.
  • The Yankees are set up to test their commitment to in-house development as soon as next season, ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchand writes. He discusses some of the options that could be relied upon in filling out the organization’s roster in the near future. GM Brian Cashman explained that the club is “pretty locked in on some guys,” apparently referencing the fact that New York is not looking at much roster turnover. What upcoming needs there are could be met from within. “We do have some square pegs that will fit in some square holes when you look at 2017,” said Cashman. “That’s a long way off. We do have some placeholders that potentially are going to be in place, if that is the direction we choose. That’s a good thing.”
  • Red Sox first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig is getting another shot at the big leagues and is eager to prove he can still be productive, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports. “I feel great about where I’m at,” said Craig. “I know I’m a good player. I’m just looking forward to being back here and playing.” The former All-Star, who has struggled in recent years, says he’s still focused on the present and isn’t concerned with the possibility of moving to another organization. The big question with Craig, of course, is whether he can regain his power, which has yet to come around at Triple-A. Barring a sustained turnaround, Boston figures to have no real promise of finding a taker for any substantial portion of the 31-year-old’s remaining contract obligations.

Front Office Notes: Jennings, Mariners, Beinfest, Scioscia

The Marlins will ask manager Dan Jennings to relinquish his managerial role and return to the GM position he occupied previously, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. That’s largely a confirmation of expectations at this point — Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com each indicated in early August that such a move was likely. The more intriguing elements of the situation appear still to be sorted out. Yesterday, a report from the Herald’s Clark Spencer indicated that Miami has a lot of internal tension. Per the report, Jennings could end up as GM, in another front office role, or out of the organization altogether. And there are shakeups in the offing in the club’s scouting and player development departments.

Here’s more on the still-developing front office landscape around the league:

  • Jennings has “strong interest” in pursuing the Mariners‘ open GM position, Rosenthal adds. Of course, he’s still under contract in Miami. But it’s not clear at all what kind of front office alignment might be utilized were Jennings to move back upstairs. While Jennings has served as skipper, assistant GM Mike Berger has largely filled his role.
  • Former Marlins GM Larry Beinfest is another name that could figure in the executive market this fall. He sat down recently with Spencer, explaining that he’s ready to get back in on “the everyday competitiveness” of MLB front office work. It’s a long and interesting interview with plenty of discussion of Beinfest’s time in Miami. “I was never frustrated by low payrolls,” he said. “What was more challenging than the lower payrolls was the roller coaster of the payrolls. They go up. They go down. It made it very hard to plan.”
  • Angels manager Mike Scioscia says that he will not play a significant part in the club’s GM hiring process, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports. That would certainly be the case for most managers, but a highly-publicized feud with former GM Jerry Dipoto reportedly led to his departure from the organization, leading many to believe that the 16-year-veteran skipper holds outsized influence in the Halos organization. “I don’t plan on being part of any selection committee,” said Scioscia. “I know the role of a manager in an organization, and I love that part of it. It’s not to go pick a GM. I just think, just like any team, you have to be philosophically on the same page, all the way down from ownership to the general manager’s seat to the manager to the Minor Leagues and scouting director, everything that’s important in fueling your Major League roster. You have to be on the same page.” While Scioscia said that he is not sure what the organization is looking for in its new hire, he again reiterated that he would “imagine” they’ll seek “somebody who will be philosophically lined up with what we’re trying to do.”

Notable September Call-Ups

Today’s flurry of transactions has been driven by September call-ups as teams look to expand their flexibility with expanded rosters. Only players who are on the 40-man roster can be activated, of course, meaning that several organizations have had to designate or outright players to clear roster space. On the activation side of the equation, we always see big name prospects reach the bigs in early September, though many of the game’s best big-league ready youngsters have already been elevated this year.

We already noted Hector Olivera‘s promotion earlier today, and you can see all of the day’s promotions at the MLB.com Transactions page. Here are some more of the notable call-ups (for various reasons)…

  • Zach DaviesBrewers — Acquired in the Gerardo Parra deal, Davies is heading into the Milwaukee rotation for his first big league action. The rebuilding Brewers figure to have multiple rotation spots open in the long-term, making Davies’ late audition one to keep an eye on. Be sure to check out the MLBTR Podcast episode featuring the young righty.
  • Miguel CastroRockies — Another recent trade acquisition, Castro was one of the two main pieces (along with fellow righty Jeff Hoffman) who went to Colorado in exchange for Troy Tulowitzki. It’s not clear what role the Rockies have in mind in the near-term, but they’ll get an early look to see whether he will be a part of their plans for 2016.
  • Dalton PompeyBlue Jays — Pompey opened the season with a chance to solidify himself as Toronto’s everyday center fielder, but offensive struggles saw him slide all the way to Double-A. Pompey nonetheless rates as one of baseball’s best prospects, and he’ll again have the opportunity to show the Blue Jays that he can be a long-term piece.
  • Javier BaezCubs — It’s been a difficult season for Baez, who has dealt with the tragic death of his younger sister and then a broken finger but hit well late in the year at Triple-A. Baez’s light-tower power and exceptional bat speed make him one of the game’s most intriguing power prospects, and a huge September could lead the Cubs to pencil him in as their second baseman in 2016.
  • Joey GalloRangers — Speaking of the game’s top power prospects, Gallo wowed the baseball world when he .260/.362/.580 with five homers through his first 14 big league games earlier this year. But, he went 6-for-37 with 22 strikeouts over his next 11 games and was optioned to Triple-A, where his struggles continued. Gallo posted a very three-true-outcomes batting line in 53 games there: .195/.289/.450 with a 39.5 percent strikeout rate in 228 plate appearances. He has as much power as anyone in baseball, but the strikeouts are a concern.
  • Marco Gonzales, Cardinals — The 19th overall pick back in 2013, Gonzales debuted with the Cardinals in 2014 and tossed 34 2/3 respectable, if unspectacular innings. He’s dealt with injuries in 2015 and hadn’t pitched in the Majors this season prior to September. The Cards threw him right into the fire tonight, and things didn’t go well (four runs in 2 2/3 innings). Gonzales could be in line for a rotation spot next season, although with Adam Wainwright returning and Jaime Garcia’s option likely to be picked up, he could begin 2016 in Triple-A again.
  • Rob Refsnyder, Yankees — Refsnyder had a nice season at Triple-A (albeit a bit light in the power department), and Yankee fans have been clamoring for him to inherit the everyday second base job for quite some time. A platoon with Stephen Drew may be more likely, but Refsnyder will get his first extended run on a big league roster this month and hope to impress the team as Drew heads into free agency.
  • Trevor Cahill — Cahill joins the Cubs on a mission to show some semblance of the form he displayed from 2010-13 with the A’s and D-Backs, when he very much looked the part of a mid-rotation starter. Since that four-year stretch (when he notched a 3.72 ERA in 751 innings), Cahill has an ERA just under 6.00 and has been released by the Braves and opted out of a deal with the Dodgers after floundering in Triple-A as well. He’s still only 27.
  • Matt MooreRays — Moore’s return from Tommy John was dreadful, but he flat out dominated Triple-A hitters following a demotion to get his control back in check. Moore had a 3.30 ERA in Triple-A but held hitters to a .207/.273/.333 batting line with a 43-to-8 K/BB ratio in 30 innings, including an Aug. 22 start in which 16 of the 18 outs he recorded came via strikeout.
  • Andrew Bailey, Yankees — The right-hander was a young, ace closer for the Athletics but saw his career fall apart due to injuries after being traded to the Red Sox. He’s thrown well at Triple-A this year after joining the Yankees on a minor league deal, and he’ll now get his first chance at the big league level since way back in 2013.
  • Allen CraigRed Sox — Craig has fallen off the radar after three outstanding seasons with the Cardinals from 2011-13. He’s probably not in Boston’s long-term plans, but a nice September could make it a bit easier for the Sox to generate a little trade interest. Craig batted .274/.368/.350 in Triple-A this season, and while the average/OBP are nice, he had just 18 extra-base hits (14 doubles, four homers) in 399 PAs there.
  • Rex Brothers, Wilin Rosario, Rockies — Formerly two key contributors for the Rockies, both have wilted recently, and both could be viewed as change-of-scenery candidates this offseason. Their September performances, for that reason, are worth keeping an eye on.

Central Notes: Arrieta, Berrios, Kirby

Jake Arrieta‘s no-hitter stands out as one of the best performances of the season, and the right-hander’s overall dominant campaign has positioned him as one of the front-runners for the NL Cy Young Award. A season this excellent — Arrieta is 17-6 with a 2.11 ERA, 9.3 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 183 innings — makes for a lucrative arbitration raise, but his raise could be steeper than most assume. As MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes tweets, our arbitration projection model currently has Arrieta jumping to $9.9MM in 2016 — nearly triple his current $3.625MM salary. The Cubs control Arrieta through the 2017 season.

Here’s more on Arrieta and the game’s Central divisions…

  • The trade that sent Arrieta and Pedro Strop to Chicago in exchange for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger has been brought up a great deal since the no-hitter, but Mark Brown of Camden Chat argues that Arrieta was unlikely to ever succeed with the Orioles. Arrieta was 27 at the time he was traded and had shown great raw talent with poor results for the better part of four seasons. Arrieta gave the Orioles little reason to ever believe he’d turn around, having posted a 5.46 ERA in 358 innings through the age of 27.
  • Though he wasn’t among the Twins‘ first wave of September callups, top prospect Jose Berrios is still under consideration to join the team later this month, writes the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino“I don’t think we have finalized everything we’re going to do here,” said manager Paul Molitor. “Going forward, his name is definitely still being talked about.” GM Terry Ryan admitted that the upcoming November roster crunch is “a piece” of the consideration, as Berrios doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason as he’s not yet Rule 5 eligible. However, Ryan also notes that the Twins already added Byron Buxton to the 40-man despite the fact that he also didn’t need to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft. Berardino runs down a number of Twins prospects that may need to be protected on the 40-man this winter.
  • The Brewers announced today that left-hander Nathan Kirby, the team’s supplemental round pick from the most recent draft, underwent Tommy John surgery (h/t: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, on Twitter). The Virginia product slipped from a potential Top 5-10 pick to the Comp Balance round after his stock dropped due to a lat strain. Kirby tossed just 12 2/3 innings with Milwaukee’s Class-A affiliate before being sidelined, and he could very well be lost for the entirety of the 2016 season now.

Nationals’ Aaron Barrett To Undergo Elbow Surgery

Nationals right-hander Aaron Barrett requires surgery on his right elbow, manager Matt Williams told reporters, including MASNsports.com’s Dan Kolko (Twitter link). Kolko adds that it’s “looking like it’ll be Tommy John” surgery. MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweets that Tommy John is “most likely” to be the outcome for Barrett.

The 27-year-old Barrett has been a solid contributor to the Washington bullpen over the past two seasons, firing 70 innings of 3.47 ERA ball to go along with a 10.8 K/9 rate, a 3.5 BB/9 rate and a 44.9 percent ground-ball rate. He’s averaged a strong 93.8 mph on his fastball in those 70 innings. Sabermetric figures like FIP, xFIP and SIERA all feel that Barrett’s ERA is higher than it should be, projecting marks ranging from 2.43 to 3.09.

If Tommy John surgery is indeed the outcome for Barrett, then he’ll of course miss the remainder of the season and perhaps all of next year as well. He’d have a chance to pitch next September if able to recover in a year’s time, though many recovery processes take longer than that, so it’s possible that he’ll be sidelined until Opening Day 2017. Barrett has been on the disabled list since early August due to a sprained right elbow.