Although Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire has indicated his desire to return to the club next season, the fate of his coaching staff may yet be up in the air, according to Evan Woodbery of MLive Media Group. With the season coming to a close, general manager Al Avila and company are apparently still faced with decisions regarding the status of the team’s staff, with announcements to come at season’s end. As The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen speculates, that certainly makes it seem like changes are coming, though of course any relevant announcements will have to wait. Gardenhire previously expressed his hope that his staff would remain intact for 2020, the final year of his contract. That group includes familiar faces like Rick Anderson and Steve Liddle, as well as Lloyd McClendon and Ramon Santiago. However, after such a dreadful year in all facets of the game, the front office will certainly look critically at the coaching.
From elsewhere around the American League…
- Yankees fans shook their heads in disbelief as starter James Paxton left yesterday’s game after just one inning. However, it seems that the team managed to avoid yet another significant injury; Paxton underwent an MRI this morning that revealed nothing but nerve irritation, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. His removal from the game was merely a precaution and is not expected to affect his availability in the approaching ALDS. The club has faced questions all year about postseason pitching, and an injury to Paxton—the team’s most reliable starter in the second half—would have sent the New York faithful spiraling.
- White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, according to James Fegan of The Athletic. He was scratched from his schedule start on Thursday, and of course won’t pitch again this season. While the two-to-four week timeline that comes with the injury is of little significance at this time of year, it’s nonetheless good to hear that the promising rookie will be at full health before too long. He’s had some growing pains as a rookie but has shown some encouraging signs, striking out 81 batters in his first 73 innings as a big-leaguer. With 141 1/3 innings between several levels, he’s also amassed his biggest workload as a pro.
- It’s no secret that Orioles pitching has come up short this year, but first-year pitching coach Doug Brocail expected some struggles when he took the job last winter. As he and a new front office regime attempt to build a pitching staff from the ground-up, Brocail offers some insight into the state of the organization in an interview with Dan Connolly of The Athletic (subscription required). There’s a long way to go for the team, but Brocail is seeing marginal improvements with rookie general manager Mike Elias trying to play catch-up after inheriting last year’s MLB-worst roster. With the emergence of John Means and the continued growth of the organization’s analytics department, there are some positive takeaways from his first year on the Baltimore staff.