Storylines: Astros shake up organization with firings
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Monday, Sept. 1.
- The Astros fired manager Bo Porter, according to a team press release. Bench coach Dave Trembley was also relieved of his duties. Tom Lawless will be the club's interim manager for the rest of the 2014 season. As reported last week by FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, a divide had grown between Porter and Houston GM Jeff Luhnow. Porter felt that Luhnow was overly critical of his in-game strategy, and he also didn't think his own opinions were being heard within the front office. Porter was also upset that he wasn't consulted when Mark Appel was brought to Minute Maid Park for a throwing session in July, a move that also drew complaints from several Astros players. One potential candidate to replace Porter could be former Padres star Phil Nevin, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported. Nevin has impressed observers with his work this year as the manager for Triple-A Reno in the Diamondbacks' system.
- The Mariners placed first baseman Jesus Montero on the suspended list for the remainder of the 2014 season, the team announced. The move comes as no surprise given that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik recently said that Montero wouldn't play again this year in order to focus on off-the-field issues. Montero's suspension and Willie Bloomquist being moved to the 60-day DL created two spots on the team's 40-man roster that were filled by catcher Humberto Quintero and right-hander Carson Smith, who had their contracts selected in corresponding moves.
- The Indians made a series of expected roster moves Monday, as the roster expanded to 40 players. Those moves included activating 20-year Major League veteran Jason Giambi from the 60-day disabled list. In addition to Giambi's activation, the Indians recalled right-handed relievers Bryan Price and Austin Adams from Triple-A Columbus. Infielder Jesus Aguilar was also added to Cleveland's roster from Columbus and was in Monday's lineup, going 0-for-2 with a walk as the DH. Catcher Chris Gimenez was also activated from the paternity list on Monday.
- Indians right fielder Mike Aviles exited Monday's 12-1 loss to the Tigers after diving and landing hard in the first inning. Manager Terry Francona said the right fielder, who played three innings before exiting, passed a concussion test and will be looked at again Tuesday.
News and Notes:
- The A's will cover $1 million of the roughly $2.3 million remaining on Adam Dunn's 2014 salary, and ESPN's Buster Olney reported that Oakland's willingness to take on this much of Dunn's salary was part of the reason why the A's were able to acquire the slugger. The Giants, Dodgers and at least one other team were also reportedly talking to the White Sox about a Dunn trade.
- If Hanley Ramirez leaves the Dodgers in free agency, it could be for an American League team that could give him the occasional rest day at DH, Peter Gammons wrote. Ramirez could also go to a team in need of third base help if he's willing to switch positions. As recently reported, the Dodgers are wary of giving Ramirez a long-term contract due to concerns about his durability and defense. Ramirez's departure would also make it very unlikely that the Dodgers would trade Matt Kemp, Gammons added. Without Ramirez, the Dodgers will need Kemp to help balance a lineup that would have only one other notable right-handed bat in Yasiel Puig.
- Mets manager Terry Collins was surprised that there wasn't more interest in pitcher Bartolo Colon before the August deadline, Marc Carig of Newsday reported. "I was a little surprised that there wasn't more activity," Collins said. "But I'm happy he's still here." Colon cleared waivers despite his respectable performance this season, probably due primarily to his $11 million salary in 2015.
- The Dodgers promoted top prospect Joc Pederson, Ryan Walton of Valley Bay News reported. Pederson is in the midst of an offensive season that's brilliant even in the desert air of Triple-A Albuquerque, hitting .303/.435/.582 in 553 plate appearances. MLB.com currently ranks Pederson the No. 18 prospect in baseball, praising his power (he has 33 home runs so far this season) and plate discipline, but noting that he needs to work on hitting left-handers. Before the season, Baseball America ranked Pederson at No. 34, and ESPN's Keith Law had him at No. 41.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said to expect "significant changes" to the team's roster, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki wrote. "I think we need it," Amaro stated. "I think we need it because what we have on our roster right now is not working." The timing of Amaro's comments is a bit odd, given that he spent both the July and August deadlines mostly declining to trade veterans (although he did ship John Mayberry Jr. to the Blue Jays on Sunday). Perhaps, though, there are big moves coming in the offseason. Last week, former GM Pat Gillick took over as interim team president while David Montgomery went on medical leave. Amaro said that the Phillies will not replace him or manager Ryne Sandberg while Gillick is running the team.
- The Blue Jays designated reliever Neil Wagner for assignment, Sportsnet.ca's Ben Nicholson-Smith reported. Wagner had Tommy John surgery in August. He pitched ten innings for the Blue Jays this year, all of them in April and May.
- The Royals designated left-hander Chris Dwyer and righty Blake Wood for assignment, the team announced. The moves created 40-man roster spots for outfielder Carlos Peguero and lefty Brandon Finnegan, whose contracts were purchased yesterday.
- Lefty Rich Hill was outrighted to Triple-A by the Yankees, according to the International League transactions page. Hill was designated to make room for fellow southpaw Josh Outman.
- The Pirates designated first baseman Chris McGuiness for assignment, the club announced. The move created a 40-man roster spot for right-hander John Holdzkom, whose contract was selected on Sunday night.
When I do these articles, I try to include anything about former Tribe players just to keep tabs on what's going on with them...