After firing pitching coach Charles Nagy and first-year first base coach Steve Sax, the D-backs will also now look for a hitting coach, after Don Baylor left to work with the Angels. That’s a lot of turnover for a staff retaining its manager, especially if Matt Williams leaves for a post with the Nationals.
Nick Piecoro reported that Baylor’s contract situation may have affected his decision. He notes that with Kirk Gibson “believed to have just one year remaining on his contract,” the D-backs may have been reluctant to match the Angels’ two-year bid. We’ll see how this works out — if Gibson’s contract is really a factor for Arizona in hiring new coaches, the club may have trouble attracting new coaches with one-year deals.
One thing is apparently for sure: the D-backs aren’t letting Gibson go to interview for a job in Detroit. Jim Leyland is retiring as skipper of the Tigers, but D-backs CEO Derrick Hall tried to stamp out speculation that Gibson might take over.
There are some tremendous coaches in baseball; one tends to hear more about pitching coaches like Don Cooper or Lee Mazzilli or Dave Duncan, but if the timing of baseball firings is any indication, hitting coaches play an important role, as well. It’s hard to evaluate coaches in this space because it’s hard to know how any player would have done at the same time with a different coach. Still, count me among the people who wonders whether the D-backs will miss Charles Nagy. Sure, the club did struggle to convert talent to results with some pitchers, but guys like Tyler Skaggs fell largely out of Nagy’s jurisdiction, and one wonders if Nagy had any influence in helping Patrick Corbin make the leap, or in returning J.J. Putz to form.
In other news, Arizona signed Matt Reynolds to a new deal, giving him $550,000 for 2014 in exchange for a $600,000 club option for 2015. Given that Reynolds will spend most or all of next year in rehab, it seems like a deal in which both sides win, and there’s still a chance that Reynolds can contribute down the stretch in 2014.
- Piecoro wrote up some instructional league performances from young D-backs prospects, including Braden Shipley and Jimmie Sherfy.
- At FanGraphs, Marc Hulet published some notes on top and former D-backs prospects. If you’re hungry for some minor league notes and rankings, tune back in tomorrow…
- The Dodgers got right back to their free-spending ways after getting eliminated by the Cardinals in the NLCS, signing Cuban SS-2B Alexander Guerrero. Actually not a very expensive deal (4yr/$28M), and they get his good years, through his age 30 season. ESPN’s Jim Bowden had some other suggestions for the Dodgers.
- At Snake Pit, Jim McLennan weighed in on the chances David Price lands in Arizona. Thomas Lynch of Venom Strikes also had some thoughts on a possible Price trade. I, too, have spent a fair amount of time thinking about this, too, and I will post on it later this week (that’s what the offseason is for!).
- Jim also published a post on the 2013 bullpen worth referring to throughout the offseason. And if you’re looking for some chicken soup for your D-backs soul, don’t miss his walkoffs retrospective.
The Pool ShotEpisode 19 of The Pool Shot: Armed with information from their trip to Arizona, the guys tackle great topics from @youknow_OJ (players who changed our minds), @coldblueAZ (Drury's psyche), @brandonharaway (what comes next with Tomas off 3B), @TylerNickelASU (likely D-backs rotation). At 1:13:30, they have a ton of fun with a topic posed by two people (@jgonzol16 and @PB_HR): should the team consider a 6-man rotation? They then circle back to topics from @Ascend_Descend (likely trade candidates) and @coldblueAZ (Hill's production in 2015). Many thanks to these guys, and to those who sent ones we thought would fit better next week -- send them to @thepoolshot! Subscribe on iTunes!
- Real D-backs Defensive Shifts, Really
- Andrew Chafin Leading Race to Be Only Real Bullpen Lefty
- Spring Notes from D-backs Minor League Camp
- Roundup: Roster in Focus; Tomas Contract Discussions; Six Man Rotation?
- Robbie Ray’s New Breaking Pitch Much Different, Much More Consistent
- Working the Count: Forget About It (And Don’t Feel Guilty)
- Spring Notes From D-backs MLB Camp
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- RT @deegmatio: If a man's wit be wandering; let him study the mathematics., Feb 26
- RT @mlbdepthcharts: Thanks for your help! For now, I'll go w/ Lamb at 3B, Tomas in LF. Tomas could still heat up at the plate ... http://t.co/z9aaXakjLM #Dbacks, Mar 25
- Andrew Chafin stands as the best lefty relief option, and he might be great. http://t.co/S2sHU2sY3s, Mar 25
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FanGraphs Stats Glossary
Nick Piecoro Author Page
Cot's Baseball Contracts
BP Base Running Stats
Previously on The Pool Shot, the guys explained some of their favorite advanced stats. Hitting, including wRC+, HHAV and batted ball; pitching (38:00), including FIP, xFIP and SIERA; and baserunning and defense, including UBR, UZR and DRS (58:00).