The latest from the National League…
- With Giants second baseman Joe Panik losing his grip on an everyday role, he may be in his last season with the club, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle observes. Panik will earn approximately $5MM in arbitration next year (his penultimate season of team control), estimates Schulman, who writes that the team could either trade or non-tender him over the winter. A Giant since they selected him 29th overall in 2011, Panik isn’t worried about his future, but he may need a strong finish this year to continue with the club. “I do understand the business side of it,” Panik said. “At the same time, “I haven’t even thought that far, and you really can’t, honestly. If you’re thinking that far ahead, you’re not going to be able to take care of business today.” Although Panik has been a solid major leaguer since debuting in 2014, the 27-year-old has hit an unappealing .242/.303/.347 (78 wRC+) in 262 plate appearances this season.
- It’s unknown whether Cardinals interim manager Mike Shildt will return as the team’s full-time skipper in 2019, but he has earned a fan in chairman Bill Dewitt Jr. since taking over the fired Mike Matheny on July 14. “He’s done everything that we could possibly ask for,” DeWitt said (via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). “I think he communicates with his staff, communicates well with players, has a good baseball-mind. Strategically — hard to criticize what he’s done. He’s a very good manager. Has been coming up through the ranks. Just a very solid baseball man.” It’s difficult to quantify the performance of a manager, but it’s nonetheless worth noting that the Shildt-led Cardinals have rallied to post a 21-10 mark and now find themselves in possession of the NL’s second wild-card spot.
- Rockies veteran first baseman/outfielder Matt Holliday, 38, is making a case for a promotion to the majors, Thomas Harding of MLB.com writes. Holliday, who sat on the unemployment line until Colorado signed him to a minor league deal on July 28, has slashed a tremendous .370/.473/.652 in 55 PAs with its top minors affiliate in Albuquerque. Rockies manager Bud Black has taken notice, saying: “He’s checking off some boxes. The thing that we’re happy about is the physical side. Mentally, Matt’s been a longtime player. You get back up to speed real quick. That didn’t take long, I’m sure. But the confidence that when he faces all sorts of pitching — there’s a difference between big league pitching and minor league pitching, but he’s been able to face a lot of different styles of pitching in Triple-A — will continue to get him closer to coming to us.” If the Rockies were to promote Holliday, he’d be in line for his second stint as a member of the club, with which he began his career and thrived from 2004-08.