Nationals manager Dave Martinez has drawn his fair share of scrutiny over the course of the season, but Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post writes that his job appears safe for the time being. General manager Mike Rizzo recently said he hasn’t considered a scenario where Martinez doesn’t return, and Janes reports that Nationals ownership deferred to Rizzo’s statement when she asked the Lerner family for comment on the matter.
More broadly, Janes speaks with more than a half dozen Nationals players (and has lengthy quotes from most) who vouch for Martinez. Shortstop Trea Turner and outfielder Adam Eaton are both adamant in their praise for Martinez, while veteran reliever Sean Doolittle describes the manner in which Martinez’s communication with the bullpen has continually improved over the course of the season. Janes points to the strong praise for Martinez from his players as proof that he has not lost the clubhouse, noting that former Nats manager Matt Williams was unable to maintain this level of support in a disappointing 2015 campaign.
Some more stray notes from around the league…
- Tigers skipper Ron Gardenhire announced to reporters today that his entire coaching staff would return for the 2019 season (Twitter link via MLive.com’s Evan Woodbery). That’ll include Rick Anderson returning as the full-time pitching coach — a position he assumed after the Tigers abruptly dismissed Chris Bosio earlier this season in the wake of allegedly racist remarks toward an employee. Anderson, who was Gardenhire’s pitching coach in Minnesota, had previously been the team’s bullpen coach. Lloyd McClendon (hitting), Phil Clark (asst. hitting), former Tigers player Ramon Santiago (first base), Dave Clark (third base), Steve Liddle (bench), A.J. Sager and Joe Vavra (quality control) round out the Detroit coaching staff. Their returns aren’t entirely surprising, as owner Chris Ilitch recently expressed his pleasure with the current direction of his team’s rebuilding efforts.
- Mets infielder Jose Reyes acknowledges that it has been a trying season, but says he’s still not sure he’ll hang up his spikes this winter, as Enrique Rojas of ESPN reports (Spanish language link). It sounds as if Reyes still has the desire to keep going, but also the appropriate perspective on his situation. “When you spend 15 years in the big leagues,” he said, ” it’s obvious that you start thinking about retirement, because we’re not eternal, but right now my physique is one hundred percent. It’s something I’ll think about with my family after the season.” There’s little question that the veteran switch-hitter would be a candidate for a minor-league pact, despite his ugly .196/.268/.332 slash in 235 plate appearances this year, though his prior suspension for alleged domestic abuse could well keep many organizations from showing interest and it’s not evident whether the Mets will ask him back.
- For some, the decision to step away from the game isn’t a permanent one. That may be the case for former MLB reliever Frank Francisco. Per MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, via Twitter, the righty is at least weighing a Dominican Winter League return. Though he recently turned 39 and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2014, Francisco says he’s already working in the lower-nineties with his fastball. It remains to be seen whether the ten-year MLB veteran will even try to make it back to the bigs, but we’ve seen plenty of unlikely stories in the past.