Thomas Harding of MLB.com confirms that the Rockies have dismissed several minor league coaches, including longtime Triple-A manager Glenallen Hill (link). Double-A hitting coach Lee Stevens and Single-A hitting coach Norberto Martin will also be let go, according to assistant general manager of player development Zach Wilson.
A member of the club’s coaching ranks since 2004, Hill was previously first base coach with Colorado’s big league squad from 2007 to 2012. The 54-year-old Santa Cruz native played for the Jays, Indians, Cubs, Giants, Yankees, and Angels over the course of a twelve-year MLB career. After Hill’s dismissal, top Colorado third base prospect Colton Welker figures to suit up for a fresh face at Triple-A Colorado Springs next season.
More notes from around the National League…
- In another Rockies item, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post gives an eye toward the defensive improvements made in 2019 by catcher Tony Wolters–while also opining that the club should acquire a veteran backstop to lighten the workload of the light-hitting Wolters (link). As Saunders notes, Wolters, a former second baseman, was charged with just one error last season while throwing out 34% of would-be base stealers, a rate which trailed only J.T. Realmuto of the Phillies. Manager Bud Black, for one, told the Post this year that Wolters had turned himself into “one of the best defensive catchers in baseball”. Unfortunately, the value-added performance hasn’t translated to the plate for the 27-year-old San Diego native, as his .239/.327/.324 line in parts of four seasons would indicate. Weighted runs created plus, which discounts the effect of his offensively friendly Coors Field home, pegs Wolters with a 59 wRC+ in that same timeframe, profiling him as one of the weakest-hitting regulars in the sport. For this reason, Saunders posits that finding a platoon partner for the lefty-swinging Wolters will be a high priority for Rockies GM Jeff Bridich this winter.
- Two notes on Nationals players, one bullet point–efficiency reigns here at MLBTR. First up is a piece from MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince, who, in creating a list of eight potential opt-out candidates this offseason, posits that any possibility of Stephen Strasburg opting-in to the remaining four years and $100MM on his contract has been “totally erased” this postseason (link). This seems a good time to supply a standard public service announcement regarding small sample size caveats, as recent history would suggest that postseason performance does not affect free agency decisions as frequently as many would expect. Still, Castrovince might not exactly be going out on a limb RE: Strasberg. While the pitcher’s injury concerns–evidenced best by his team’s decision to hold him out of the 2012 playoffs–have loomed over him for most of his career, Strasberg’s 1.64 ERA across 22 postseason innings this year has arguably gone some way toward ameliorating that fragile rap.
In a piece with fewer implications on the forthcoming hot stove, every baseball fan would be well-served to check out Rustin Dodd’s oral history regarding the college days of one Max Scherzer, published on The Athletic this morning (link). For Nats faithful feeling the afterglow of an NLCS sweep, hearing tales of some of Scherzer’s collegiate habits–including his ravenous affinity for Cici’s Pizza–should provide a giddy laugh.
- A Houston source tells David Kaplan of NBC Chicago that Astros bench coach Joe Espada gave a “sensational” interview for the open Cubs manager job (link). Espada gave executive Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer “a lot to think about”, per Kaplan’s source, but the question still remains if Espada can surpass franchise favorite David Ross in consideration for the managerial opening. For the time being, Espada’s ’Stros will square off with the Yankees in New York this evening for the fourth game of the ALCS.