Former Red Sox skipper Alex Cora is suspended for all of the 2020 season as a result of the role he played as the Astros’ bench coach in their 2017 sign-stealing scandal, but it may not be long before he’s in a prominent position again. If the World Baseball Classic takes place in 2021, Cora may be in line to manage or perhaps serve as the GM of the Puerto Rican team. On potentially hiring Cora, president of the Puerto Rican Baseball Federation Jose Quiles told Primera Hora (via Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com): “Of course we would consider it. We already know the work he does. He would be considered as much for general manager as he would be for manager.” Cora was the GM of the 2017 Puerto Rican club that lost just one game – the championship round against the United States.
Here’s more from around the game…
- High-end Tigers pitching prospect Casey Mize is holding out hope that he’ll make his major league debut in 2020, as Chris McCosky of the Detroit News writes. “It is very frustrating,” Mize told McCosky the coronavirus-forced shutdown. “This is the year I’d hoped to spend a lot of quality time in the big leagues and make my debut. And if there is a season, that is still my goal. That is still something I want to accomplish.” The 22-year-old Mize is keeping in shape by throwing five days a week, including a 40-pitch bullpen session every Wednesday. The No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft, Mize further proved himself as one of the best prospects in baseball last year when he threw 78 2/3 innings of 3.20 ERA ball during his Double-A debut.
- Contraction of minor league teams seems to be on the way, but the Cubs won’t be among the franchises affected, Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago details. They’re not in position to lose any of their affiliates, which Cubs senior director for player development Matt Dorey told Wittenmyer is “not surprising at all.” The Cubs have been impressed with the work that all of their lower level teams have put in, Dorey explained to Wittenmyer, and they believe those partnerships will continue. “It’s amazing how much investment in resources they’ve made to put our players in the best position to develop,” Dorey said.
- Changes to the minor league setup may allow the St. Paul Saints of the independent American Association to become an affiliated team, J.J. Cooper of Baseball America reported earlier this week. But the Saints are content in their current position. They’ve “had very little to do with this other than our name being mentioned,’’ executive vice president and general manager Derek Sharrer told Jim Paulsen of the Star Tribune. Sharrer added: “We’re a member of an independent league, and we’re very happy with it. Our heritage, our DNA, is tied into being independent. We’ve had success both on and off the field. We provide a brand of entertainment with a certain renegade independent feel to it, but we’re certainly flattered to be in the discussion.”
- The Nationals are the latest team that has committed to paying their non-player employees through the end of May, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets. They join most of the league’s other clubs in that regard.