John Jaso may have played his last big league game, he told reporters (including Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and MLB.com’s Adam Berry) following the Pirates’ season-ender today. “Honestly, this is probably it for me, as far as baseball goes,” the veteran utilityman said, though he stopped short of entirely confirming his retirement. “We’ll see. I mean I can’t say anything for sure. I can’t really tell you what the future holds or whatever. But if I left now, it would be a really good feeling to leave right now, if I did. These last couple of years with the Pirates were good. It’s just taking that step and being brave enough to do it. For most of us, this is all we know. There’s a lot of those ’what ifs’ and ’buts’ and everything like that. That stuff kind of scares you when you have to make a decision like this. There’s a lot of excitement out there that I’m looking forward to. I feel ready to make that step.”
If this is it for Jaso, the 34-year-old will be hanging up the spikes after 2591 career PA over parts of nine seasons with the Rays, Mariners, A’s and (for the last two seasons) Pirates. Injuries and struggles against left-handed pitching limited Jaso’s usage as an everyday player, though he was very productive in various part-time capacities. Jaso posted good career splits against right-handed pitching and was an above-average run producer overall in six of his eight full seasons, finishing with a 115 wRC+ for his career. If this it for Jaso, we wish him congratulations on a fine career and we tip our hats to his most immediate postseason endeavor — helping with relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
Here’s the latest from both the NL and AL Central…
- The Tigers have asked the Rays about third base coach Charlie Montoyo, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter links). It’s hard to know where Montoyo sits on the Tigers’ list of managerial candidates due to the sheer number of names in their search; according to Heyman, Detroit began the process with around 50 names under consideration. Montoyo, who has also drawn interest from the Mets, has been Tampa’s third base coach for three seasons and a manager at all rungs of their minor league system from 1997-2014.
- Matt Carpenter won’t require surgery on his right shoulder, he tells MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch (Twitter link). An MRI revealed only inflammation in the shoulder, which has been a nagging concern for the Cardinals infielder. Possibly due to the injury, Carpenter saw drops in his batting average and slugging percentage from his previous two seasons, though he was still quite productive, hitting .241/.384/.451 with 23 home runs over 622 plate appearances for St. Louis.
- The rebuilding process for the White Sox has gone according to plan thus far, though as CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes writes, the team has another long year ahead of it next season. “We know we might be entering a slightly more difficult phase of this rebuild, and that is the phase where we have to allow this talent the time and patience to develop….We’re going to have to remain diligent and realize that this isn’t about any individual player or any individual season, this is about building something for the long term,” GM Rick Hahn said. “For this next phase, that’s going to require player development to play its important role and for us to have patience in Chicago that would allow that to unfold.”
- Earlier today on MLBTR, we checked in with more notes from both Central divisions, including items on the Royals, Indians, Cardinals and Tigers.