While the Mets had intended to conduct a second round, the team jumped at the chance to hire Mickey Callaway as manager after his first interview, Marc Carig of Newsday writes. He stressed a need to engage the team’s players as “human beings and individuals,” while GM Sandy Alderson cited a need to establish “rapport [and] empathy.” In other news relating to the hiring situation, Carig also notes (Twitter link) that the club interviewed Mark DeRosa before reaching its decision. The long-time big leaguer currently works for MLB Network; his candidacy had not previously been reported.
Here’s more from the National League:
- Trimming payroll down to a reported $90MM obviously represents a big challenge for the Marlins. The challenge is made all the more difficult, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes, by the state of the team’s rotation. With some paring of veteran assets seemingly all but inevitable, it seems likely that the team will look to bring back some new arms if at all possible. Of course, the organization will surely still be looking to rely on internal options to fill out the staff. A team source had some rather harsh words for two such candidates, telling Jackson that promising youngster Dillon Peters “needs to lose weight” and charging that the struggling Adam Conley fails to accept instruction and “thinks he has all the answers.” Neither of those two southpaws produced appealing results in 2017, though the former drew a ton of groundballs in his first 31 1/3 MLB frames (and was also quite good at Double-A) while the latter had quite a lot of success in the prior two seasons.
- The Reds’ pitching staff has easily been the worst in baseball over the past two seasons, but there are certainly some useful pieces in place. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon takes a look at one such pitcher, southpaw reliever Wandy Peralta. The 26-year-old was a pleasant surprise in his rookie campaign, working to a 3.76 ERA in 64 2/3 frames with 7.9 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 to go with a 54.2% groundball rate. Peralta has a diverse slate of pitch offerings — a pair of big fastballs along with a slider and change — that he utilized nearly equally in 2017. Given the number of questions marks among Cincinnati hurlers, hopes are obviously high that Peralta will continue to cement his status as a solid bullpen asset.
- The pitching coach carousel seems to be a particular area to watch in the coaching ranks this offseason, with Jim Hickey among the notable names on the market. Per MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, via Twitter, the former Rays pitching coach held a chat with the Cubs today. He has also already engaged with the Giants and Cardinals, she notes.