The differences between manager A.J. Hinch’s tenures with the Diamondbacks and Astros are a microcosm of changes within baseball as a whole, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. In 2009, Hinch’s hiring in Arizona was received negatively within the injury, since Hinch had been a former player but had little further experience. Now, though, such hires are common — think of Mike Matheny of the Cardinals or Brad Ausmus of the Tigers, for example. After being fired, Hinch took a job in the Padres’ front office before Houston hired him. The path from the front office to managing is becoming increasingly common, as organizations increasingly appreciate the benefits of having a front office and a field staff that communicate well with one another.
Hinch’s time with Arizona didn’t go well, and he was fired after barely over a year. Rosenthal quotes not only Hinch but some of his former players suggesting that Hinch’s introduction to big-league managing didn’t always go smoothly. But given the way the managerial position has changed since then, perhaps Hinch and the team were, in some ways, ahead of the curve. “We were onto something then,” says Hinch of his time with the Diamondbacks. “It wasn’t accepted as freely as it is now. … My career didn’t really warrant acceptance in that regard. Some of these other guys had better playing careers. It became a touch easier for each guy progressively to take over a team. But if it wouldn’t have been for that first time, I don’t think I would have gotten this second chance.” Here’s more from the West divisions.
- Angels GM Billy Eppler says that the team is happy with what they’ve learned from an MRI starting pitcher C.J. Wilson underwent on Monday, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register writes. Wilson merely has tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. He had reported discomfort in the shoulder on Saturday.
- The Dodgers are not concerned about Andre Ethier earning 10-and-5 rights in April, Bill Plunkett of the Register writes (Twitter links). “When a guy is an important and productive part of your team, you don’t spend your time worrying about whether you can trade him,” says GM Farhan Zaidi. The Dodgers have two years and $38MM left on Ethier’s current five-year deal, including a $2.5MM buyout on a 2018 option that can become guaranteed if he receives regular playing time. He hit .294/.366/.486 in a bounce-back season last year.