The Blue Jays announced this morning they’ve promoted Mike Murov to assistant general manager (h/t to Keegan Matheson of MLB.com). He had been the club’s director of baseball operations, a role he’s held for six years. Before joining the Toronto front office, he spent time as an assistant director of major league ops with the Red Sox. Murov broke into front office work a little more than a decade ago, spending a bit of time in the Marlins and Reds organizations. He joins Joe Sheehan in an AGM capacity in Toronto, where president/CEO Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins lead baseball operations.
Some more news out of Toronto:
- Along with Murov’s bump to assistant GM, the Jays promoted Joe Sclafani to director of player development. The 31-year-old, who played four seasons in the Astros farm system before moving into his front office career in 2016, had been Toronto’s assistant player development director. In the wake of his promotion, Sclafani spoke with Kaitlyn McGrath of the Athletic about his new role. The Dartmouth product emphasized the need for organizations to effectively curate data they provide to players so as to make developmental goals actionable. “How can we effectively translate everything available to these guys so it doesn’t overwhelm them,” he asked rhetorically. “(Provide) everything they need and nothing that they don’t.” Also discussed as part of Sclafani’s wide-ranging conversation with McGrath: the organization’s continued work with minor league hitters on understanding the strike zone, the process for hiring of minor league coaches, and the progression of infield prospects Jordan Groshans and Orelvis Martinez.
- The Jays brought reliever David Phelps back on a minor league contract in November, his second consecutive year with the organization. Phelps had allowed just two runs through 11 1/3 innings last season, but in late May, he suffered a season-ending injury that the team called a lat strain. Speaking recently with Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet, Phelps says he suffered a complete rupture, one he feared might end his career. The 35-year-old ultimately decided to undergo lat revision surgery and continue playing, although he tells Zwelling he gave serious thought to stepping away from the game. Phelps, who says he’s optimistic about his chances of being ready to go for Spring Training, also goes into detail about his rehab process and decision to return to Toronto versus signing with other clubs that offered him non-roster deals.
Wishing David Phelps good luck. It’s tough being a professional ball player dealing with injuries deep into your 30’s. I hope he can get a season or two more in before he has to hang it up!
The type of surgery he had is rare for a MLB pitcher. Phelps can use Jake Peavy as as an example of someone who had the surgery (the first for a MLB pitcher) and made it back to pitch for another half decade or so, but Peavy’s first season back wasn’t great. He eventually improved and remained a good pitcher for a few seasons, but he was never quite as good as he was prior to the surgery. Peavy was building a HOF career up to his age-29 season. He was a bit more pedestrian post the surgery.
Phelps is not in Peavy’s class, so any loss in velocity or command could spell the end. He’s also a four-pitch reliever, which is a rarity. Hard to say if that will be a plus or a minus. Hopefully he has a few more seasons left. Probably a good idea he stayed with the Jays as he’s comfortable with the coaches.
Kapler's Coconut Oil
Can’t say I’m a fan of the Joe Sclafani move. In fact, I might go as far as saying that the Jays should de-Sclafani their whole front office
I can say with certainty Joe is Anthony’s brother. They were separated at Ellis Island in a big paperwork/surname mixup. This is a great family reunion story.