Quick Hits: Bean, Bryant, Cuesta, Siverio, Astros

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tells the story of Billy Bean’s return to baseball as MLB’s newly-appointed Ambassador For Inclusion. Paul Mifsud — MLB vice president and deputy general counsel, and one of the key players in hiring Bean — said that he has experienced “a tremendous feeling of pride … using baseball to help people.”

Here are the latest notes from around the league …

  • Top Cubs prospect Kris Bryant is very much on the cusp of MLB action, even if it won’t come this season, writes ESPNChicago.com’s Jesse Rogers. But it remains to be seen at what position he will end up. Bryant himself hopes to stay at third, and said he is proud of his improvements at the position this year. Meanwhile, club president Theo Epstein noted that the team will look to get Bryant some time in the outfield to “keep that fresh for him” going forward. “We think — no doubt in our minds — he can play third base and be a really good third baseman,” explained Epstein, “but we just don’t know how the roster is going to look a year from now, two years from now, five years from now.”
  • Cuban ballplayers Jozzen Cuesta and Misael Siverio recently put on a showcase, and Jeff Moore of Baseball America provides an account (subscription required). Scouts came away somewhat underwhelmed by the “pedestrian performances” they witnessed, according to Moore.
  • The upcoming Astros managerial search will once again be an uncertain undertaking for an organization that hopes to thrive on scientific decisionmaking, writes Ben Lindbergh of Grantland.com. GM Jeff Luhnow will need to evaluate how he interacts with his next manager, says Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, who notes that other teams (like the Athletics and Rays) seem to have been able to find smooth partnerships between forward-thinking front offices and their field managers.

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9 Comments on "Quick Hits: Bean, Bryant, Cuesta, Siverio, Astros"

11 months 23 hours ago

I’m not sure the A’s are a great example, but there’s a lot to learn from Maddon’s relationship with the Rays’ front office.

Luhnow needs to learn how to respect his manager’s authority as the leader of their on the field product, who’s ultimately tasked with keeping the peace in transitional times. The Rays were bad for two years under Maddon before they got good and there were never any media circuses. That doesn’t seem possible with Luhnow as GM.

11 months 23 hours ago

not sure there’s any way anything the Astros do won’t be a media circus for as long as Luhnow is in charge. There’s a lot of ‘old school’ sportwriters out there who frankly want to see the ‘wiz kid’ and his nerds fall flat on their face.

The Astros need somebody in the Joe Girardi vein, who knows how to politely tell a reporter to shut it while going about his business of just managing the team he’s got in front of him.

11 months 19 hours ago

I think your first sentence is correct, but for different reasons. The hallmark of a good manager is to hire the right people and then get out of their way. Your job at that point is to keep as much external nonsense away from your team as possible. Those are the best managers, whether they’re baseball GMs or in the everyday world.

When you’re micromanaging, you’re not doing your job. You are actively interfering with your employees doing their job. In the case of the Astros, it was a manager already in trying circumstances who had his GM just piling on nonsense instead of blocking it.

Maybe Luhnow hired the wrong guy. Maybe with his next manager he will step back, or maybe this is just who he is. We’ll see in short enough order. If this is who he is, his impending failure has nothing to do with anybody wanting to see “nerds” fail — it will be that he is actively failing.

11 months 20 hours ago

Beane and Melvin get along really well. It’s pretty clear that Melvin is by far Beane’s favorite manager under his tenure in Oakland. They basically have a friendship type relationship, and Beane has more than praised the work Melvin has done since he came to Oakland; while Melvin has full on supported the moves Beane has made.

11 months 20 hours ago

I agree, but the A’s have also been good for almost his entire tenure.

Librarian Army
11 months 23 hours ago

He needs someone who will push the buttons the data says to push. It’s not that complicated- and it appears Porter wasn’t doing that. If you’re data driven, use the data. When the data tells you to bring in Sipp vs. this guy and Qualls vs the next- I think Lunhow wants a manager who does it and doesn’t question when it doesn’t work, but sees it as more data to help in the next situation.

108 stitches
11 months 18 hours ago

Like it or not that’s the truth. The GM might as well send his coffee boy down to home plate with the lineup card, have a phone to the dugout for pinch hitters and a direct phone to the bullpen to get their pitchers of choice. Managers these days cannot be cut of the “Billy Martin pull nine names out of your cap batting order” type. Managers are for coddling Millionaire ballplayers ego’s and keeping the clubhouse in order. That and stalling when their is a possible replay to send to New York. I’m not judging what’s best, that’s just how it is (more and more).

108 stitches
11 months 18 hours ago

Well add Bryant to the 40 man and lets see him play some left field at Wrigley if that’s your plan. Or even third base? Obviously I don’t blame Theo but these service time “games” are silly if not wrong. Bryant is right: he’s played a pretty decent third base in the minors. Oh yeah and that bat he carries around is something else. I know this has all been collectively bargained but how much say did Kris Byant have to say about that. I know he got a decent (really good) signing bonus but still the system is really bothering me with this one. Nothing perfect I suppose.

108 stitches
11 months 18 hours ago

It really works perfect for the Cubs, use Bryant in a corner outfield position next spring training and then send him to Iowa for 3 weeks to work on his outfield defense. I can’t wait to see your MLB debut on April 23, 2015 Mr. Bryant.