The Tigers announced that they have hired Rich Dubee as their new pitching coach, as MLB.com’s Jason Beck first reported would be the case. The former Braves pitching coach brings with him 13 years of experience as a Major League pitching coach, most notably serving as the Phillies’ pitching coach when the team won the World Series in 2008. The 58-year-old Dubee, who has spent the past two seasons as Atlanta’s minor league pitching coordinator, will replace pitching coach Jeff Jones, who retired abruptly following the season’s completion.
A few more notes from around the AL Central…
- While many Tigers fans are disappointed with the development (or lack thereof) of Nick Castellanos, MLive.com’s Chris Iott preaches patience and notes that the approximate $550K salary Castellanos will receive next season will keep him in the team’s plans. Iott notes that while he isn’t a good defender at third base, Castellanos did make strides. He’s also still just 23 years of age, and though he may not reach the star-level ceiling to which some thought he might ascend, there’s still hope for further improvement. Iott also points out that with enormous salaries for Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez and others, Detroit needs to rely somewhat on contributions from pre-arbitration players like Castellanos, Anthony Gose and James McCann, as the team simply cannot afford to stack the roster with significant salaries. Iott writes that it “would be a shock” to see the Tigers pursue an upgrade at third base via trade or free agency.
- The Twins were planning their offseason as if Torii Hunter would return next year, tweets La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Neal adds that some within the organization are “crushed” by his decision to hang it up. Meanwhile, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets a quote from assistant GM Rob Antony regarding Hunter’s retirement. “We have some people that will be able to handle the leadership part of things,” Antony said in reference to Hunter’s role within the clubhouse. However, Minnesota’s AGM still stressed the impact that Hunter had in that regard this past season.
- The $17.7 billion sale of Cablevision, a company owned by the Dolan family, who also own the Indians, will not impact Cleveland’s payroll, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. At the time Larry Dolan purchased the Indians, he noted that his brother, Charles (who owns Cablevision), and Cablevision were “not involved” in his purchase of the team. Larry’s son, Paul, now serves as the CEO and offered the following statement on the sale: “Cablevision’s pending sale is entirely separate from us and has no impact on us.” Paul Dolan, however, is looking to sell as much as a 30 percent ownership stake in the Indians, as was reported in late August, though he’s made it clear that the Dolan family will maintain a controlling interest in the Indians. Cleveland typically operates with one of the league’s lowest payrolls and has averaged an Opening Day mark of $84.7MM over the past three seasons.