East Notes: Red Sox, Blue Jays, Phillies

Few pitchers are given the opportunity to manage in the big leagues, but playing background appears to have little connection with success in helming a club, Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com writes. The 48 former Major League pitchers who have managed big league teams together have a .497 winning percentage, higher than the composite mark for the 113 catchers who have managed, despite the belief that the backstop job is best for preparing players for future managing careers. Ringolsby opines that many former pitchers simply need to be given an opportunity, citing Red Sox manager John Farrell — one of just two former pitchers currently managing — as an example. On to links from around baseball's Eastern divisions:

  • Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara is reluctant to divulge the secrets of his devastating splitter, telling Tim Britton of the Providence Journal that he'd "have to kill you to tell you," but is willing to reveal that he employs three different grips. The slightly altered grips produce different movement but can still be thrown with the same arm action, making the pitch all the more deceptive.
  • Some Blue Jays players are disappointed that Ervin Santana didn't end up in Toronto, but the Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott writes that Santana wouldn't have made the Jays contenders. 
  • Spring Training under manager Ryne Sandberg has been a different experience for the Phillies, reports Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sandberg has focused heavily on fundamentals and drills so far this spring, a departure from longtime Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel.

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