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 41 of The Pool Shot: getting a handle on the pumpkin spice flavor craze, a Jake Lamb birthday at One Baller Street, Archie Bradley's new look in instructs, and a topic naturally dripping with sex appeal: long relief, and where Randall Delgado, Josh Collmenter and Jhoulys Chacin could fit in the team's plans. Subscribe on iTunes!
Announcement: Double PlusWe're making a change: instead of roundups, which we used for smaller vignettes and to weigh in on links, we're opting for a more free-form format on Fridays. Expect two pieces shorter than our normal fare, with analysis of all shapes: using links as a jumping off point, extending or following up on research in a previous post, or addressing questions we find interesting even if we haven't narrowed down the answers. It's been 2+ years at this, and we'll both be contributing to these Friday two-packs of bonus content. We call it Double Plus.
Midseason Top 10 Prospects
It's here: the Inside the 'Zona Midseason Top 10 Prospects List, including recent trade additions and 2015 draftees.
- A Kind of Chip Hale Report Card
- D-backs Sport High Replay Challenge Success Rate, But Should Aim Lower
- Double Plus: Archie Bradley Making Strides in Instructs
- Double Plus: Jhoulys Chacin Might Be Different
- On-Base Percentage Driving the D-backs Offense Once Again
- Josh Collmenter’s Fall and Rise
- Can Daniel Hudson Be The 2016 Closer?
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- That's it. I challenge you, Jeff. Our next @thepoolshot episode. Your top 5 Jeffs against my top 5 Ryans. https://t.co/8YKUs9Sddu, 2 hours ago
- RT @OutfieldGrass24: Who is the best current baseball player with your first name? Pretty sure it's Jeff Samardzija for me. #MyNameInBaseball, 3 hours ago
- RT @OutfieldGrass24: I mean, even the team is telling him to put his sunglasses on these days. https://t.co/UFssTqFbc0, 3 hours ago
- Looking good, @Dbacks http://t.co/baklQtz2gG, 3 hours ago
- 10 years ago, and I'm still floored by Bill Pulsipher's guts and selflessness in writing this: http://t.co/B53CTRCV9W #WorldMentalHealthDay, Oct 10
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- RT @KendallRogersD1: FALL REPORT: How are things for @Beaver_Baseball the fall? Who’s rising? We answer that: http://t.co/n84OIM3zah ($) http://t.co/2mLWIYpsK6, 1 hour ago
- Biden just losin it https://t.co/K93PFGYmcP, 1 hour ago
- cc: @ryanpmorrison https://t.co/vnrcw3bQxg, 2 hours ago
- RT @bxe1234: I guess it's Brad Ziegler. Didn't know there were 7 2015 big leaguers named Brad. https://t.co/9fC8Nw0Agw, 2 hours ago
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).