Storylines: Could Morales become a Yankee?
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 Thursday, May 29th.
- The draft pick compensation that is hanging over Kendrys Morales‘ head is roughly a week away from being lifted, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports heard from multiple Major League sources that the Yankees are among the teams with potential interest in the switch-hitting Scott Boras client. The Yankees are concerned about injuries to first baseman Mark Teixeira (wrist inflammation) and Carlos Beltran (bone spurs in his elbow), and they lack a true backup first baseman, which caused them to play Brian McCann at first base for the first time in his pro career Wednesday. Rosenthal noted that the Mariners continue to signal that they don’t have the financial wherewithal to sign Morales, and the Brewers, among other NL clubs are concerned with his defense at first place. That concern isn’t as big for the Yankees, as Morales would still be an upgrade over McCann or Kelly Johnson, who are the current backups to Teixeira.
- The Royals have once again shuffled their coaching staff in hopes of sparking a dormant offense, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. Dale Sveum will take over for Pedro Grifol as the hitting coach, with Grifol becoming the catching instructor and Mike Jirschele taking over at third.
- Entering Friday's game, the Indians are six games under .500 with a minus-25 run differential, a 9-19 road record, the fourth-highest starters’ ERA and the most errors (by far) in the Majors.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com wrote that opposing starters are averaging just 5.03 innings per outing against the Indians, much lower than the AL average of 5.85 innings. Another stat that Castrovince pointed out is that the Indians’ team OPS in innings one through six is .738 in innings while from the seventh inning on it's .670.
- According to Castrovince, the Indians also see more pitches per plate appearance (3.99) than all but two AL teams (the Twins and Red Sox, who rank 10th and 11th, respectively, in the AL in runs per game). The Tribe is disciplined, taking 56.3 percent of the time (the AL average is 55.1) and swinging and missing just 20 percent of the time (the AL average is 21.4). However, the American League, as a whole, is slugging at a .572 clip on first pitches. The Indians are slugging .457 on first pitches. It could be a "if you don’t play, you can’t win" scenario, because the Indians swing at the first pitch just 24 percent of the time (league average: 25.6).
News and Notes:
- As the search for a new commissioner picks up steam, sitting commish Bud Selig said yesterday that it was possible that a successor could come from outside the game, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reported.
- The Red Sox are still holding out hope of keeping staff ace Jon Lester from reaching the open market, club president and CEO Larry Lucchino indicated in an appearance yesterday morning on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan.
- Cuban right-hander Raciel Iglesias is set to host a showcase for Major League teams in Haiti today, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. Joel Sherman of the New York Post added that many clubs are expected to attend, as Iglesias is seen by some as a potential reliever that could make an impact at the Major League level late in the season.
- Brady Aiken and Carlos Rodon have been mentioned the most frequently as potential options for the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, but CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman expanded on a rumor that has been picking up steam that could have the Astros cutting a deal with high school shortstop Nick Gordon in order to spend more heavily elsewhere. Heyman noted that it could very well be just a rumor, but it’s "stirring intrigue in baseball circles."
- The Rangers agreed to acquire utilityman Jason Donald from the Royals, Hunter Samuels of Kings of Kauffman reported. Yesterday, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reported that cash considerations are going back to the Royals in the deal.
- Contrary to popular opinion, the Yankees have the prospect pieces necessary to pull off one or more significant trades, rival GMs told ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden.
- With the loss of southpaw Sean Burnett fresh on the heels of his return to the MLB roster, the Angels may explore the trade market for alternatives, according to a report from MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez.