A quick check on the latest from the NL West…
- Dodgers rookie right-hander Kenta Maeda turned in his fourth straight excellent performance Saturday night, throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings at Colorado’s hitter-friendly Coors Field in a 4-1 victory. Maeda, who surrendered three hits and a walk while striking out eight, became the first pitcher since at least 1913 to begin his major league career by allowing only one total run in his first four starts, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. He’s also one of just 76 pitchers during that time frame to record four consecutive quality starts at the onset of his career. So far, the Japan native and offseason free agent signing has posted a videogamelike, NL-best .36 ERA in 25 1/3 innings and piled up 23 strikeouts against five walks.
- Padres bench coach Mark McGwire, one of the most prolific sluggers in baseball history, could be working his way up to a managerial job, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. McGwire started down this road seven years ago when then-Cardinals manager Tony La Russa lured him out of retirement to serve as the team’s hitting coach, a role he eventually had with the Dodgers before joining the Padres this season. La Russa, who’s now the Diamondbacks’ chief baseball officer, talked to McGwire in the offseason about bringing him aboard Arizona’s staff as its hitting coach. McGwire wanted to remain closer to his California home, though, so he chose the Padres and is now first-year manager Andy Green’s “eyes and ears.” On whether he’d be open to managing, McGwire told Goold, “I have never ruled it out. I’ve got so much to learn. Who knows where this is going, really?”
- Green offered some insight to Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune on how the Padres deploy the shift and discourage opposing hitters from trying to bunt for an easy single. “We give (the shift) to them with a strike most of the time,” Green said. “The type of guys that you’re handing it to with a strike, it’s probably going to put them in two-strike situations a lot more frequently than it is they’re going to get bunts down.” Green added, “We’re aware of where these guys got their bunt hits, when they got their bunt hits, if there was a strike on them and how long we need to play them in.”