The Astros’ acquisition of Gerrit Cole last offseason has been a clear win for the team, as The Athletic’s Rustin Dodd (subscription required) writes in an analysis of how well Cole has both performed on the mound and fit into the team’s clubhouse culture. In Houston, Cole said, “you’re not asked to conform to a system. You’re asked to use the system to make yourself better. So, from an analytic standpoint, from a scouting report standpoint, from teammates and instructors, there’s just a high level of quality here that’s ahead of quite a bit of other teams….They’re really forward thinking.” Cole’s biggest start in an Astros uniform comes tomorrow in Game 2 of the ALDS, and a victory would give the Astros a huge 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five series.
Some more from around the AL West…
- The Angels aren’t likely to name their new manager before the World Series, Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group opines, as the team is planning a wide-ranging search that includes many candidates from outside the organization. The Halos won’t be making any public statements about potential candidates, though various reports have suggested the club is interested in names including Eric Chavez, Josh Paul, Brad Ausmus, and Joe Espada.
- The Rangers are also looking for a new manager, and MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan takes a broad look at several potential names that could surface as candidates. Sullivan’s list includes internal choices (bench coach and interim manager Don Wakamatsu, third base coach Tony Beasley, first base coach Steve Buechele, Triple-A manager Jason Wood, and farm director Jayce Tingler), as well as several coaches with other teams as well as veteran ex-managers. White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing received an interview the last time the Rangers were looking for a new manager, Sullivan notes, and could potentially be considered again. Two names that won’t be part of the search are former Rangers managers Ron Washington and Buck Showalter.
- A clubhouse skirmish reportedly involving Jean Segura and Dee Gordon was the most overt sign of how the Mariners’ chemistry seemed to falter alongside the team’s middling record down the stretch, as Seattle faded out of contention. One of the team’s offseason priorities, TJ Cotterill of the Tacoma News Tribune writes, will be to address whether or not changes need to be made to improve the team’s internal focus and culture. “I don’t know what comes first — the cart or the horse, winning and clubhouse chemistry, or losing and clubhouse strife,” GM Jerry Dipoto said, noting that some frustration and tension amongst teammates is natural when a team isn’t performing well.
- In other AL West news from earlier today on MLBTR Trade Rumors, we passed on several Athletics-related notes.