The Twins announced a few baseball operations changes on Tuesday, including the hiring of 27-year-old Jeremy Zoll as the team’s new director of minor league operations. Brad Steil, who had previously been the team’s farm director since 2013, will now instead head up the Twins’ pro scouting department. Zoll has spent the past few seasons in the Dodgers organization, most recently holding the title of assistant director of player development. Zoll has also worked as an advance scouting coordinator with the Angels. “We’re really fortunate and excited to have him,” said chief baseball officer Derek Falvey of the newly hired Zoll (link via MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger). “He came in highly recommended from the people he worked with and around. He’ll bring some new ideas into what we’re doing developmentally.”
A bit more from around the league…
- While it’s been suggested that surgery isn’t expected for Twins slugger Miguel Sano, GM Thad Levine said today that surgery is still an option for the third baseman’s ailing shin (via Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). Levine painted surgery as a last resort, however, and said the team will explore other avenues. A decision will be made sooner rather than later though, as the procedure Sano would theoretically require would come with an eight-week recovery, so the Twins understandably don’t want to wait too long before making the call. Whether Sano requires surgery or avoids going under the knife, manager Paul Molitor said today that he doesn’t think Sano needs to play in the Dominican Winter League this year, per Berardino.
- In some other notable injury news, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets that Reds righty Anthony DeSclafani threw seven innings in an instructional league start today. That could be DeSclafani’s final start of instructional league play, though it’s nonetheless a positive step for a key part of the Cincinnati pitching staff after missing the entire 2017 season. DeSclafani was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament early in the year and was never able to make it back to a Major League mound during the regular season.
- The Rangers could have interest in right-hander Miles Mikolas as he eyes a return to the Majors after a strong three-year run in Japan, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. (We noted at MLBTR last week that Mikolas was aiming for an MLB comeback.) Limiting walks is high on the Rangers’ wishlist in terms of offseason pitching targets, and Mikolas excelled in that area over his three-year career with the Yomiuri Giants, Sullivan points out. He also notes that the Rangers have had success on the Japanese market in the past under GM Jon Daniels, getting value out of signings such as Colby Lewis, Yu Darvish and Tony Barnette. Obviously, a pursuit of Mikolas would more closely resemble the modest contracts given to Lewis and Barnette than the massive financial commitment that the Rangers spent to acquire Darvish, but Sullivan notes that Texas is likely to explore as many avenues to rotation upgrades as possible this winter. Mikolas’ most recent stint in the Majors came with the Rangers back in 2014.