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- Starting in the 2022 season, all 30 teams will now be required to provide housing to all minor league players, ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan reports. Last month team owners held a vote on the subject that passed unanimously. The intricacies are still being worked out on if teams will be giving players stipends for housing or if they will provide it directly. Considering the conditions that an overwhelming amount of minor leaguers have been subject to, this is a welcome improvement to the quality of their lives.
- If the Astros progress to the World Series, they may be without ace Lance McCullers Jr. The 28-year old was diagnosed with a flexor pronator muscle strain, tweets Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. He’ll remain out for the National League Championship series, and any starts beyond that are still hazy. However, it is somewhat of a silver lining for the Astros, because McCullers hasn’t been ruled out entirely, and if the team does make it to the World Series he has a bit of a buffer to heal. No structural damage was found in his elbow.
- The Rays have a solid future ahead of them as a team, but there’s always room for improvement.
- The Cardinals have parted ways with manager Mike Schildt. There’s no word yet on who they may get to replace the skipper, but with this new round of reaping falling upon MLB managers, it’s only a matter of time.
- Speaking of the culling, the Yankees did some leg work of their own, firing a large chunk of their coaching staff. New York decided not to renew the contracts of third base coach Phil Nevin, hitting coach Marcus Thames, and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere, reports Lindsey Adler of The Athletic. It’ll be interesting to see how Aaron Boone will cooperate with the new staff bestowed upon him—and if he’ll get his own walking papers next season.
- Freddie Freeman hit a tiebreaking homer off Brewers closer Josh Hader in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s NLDS Game 4, lifting Atlanta over Milwaukee 5-4 and sending the Braves to their second straight NLCS.
- While Gavin Sheets homered to give the White Sox an early 1-0 lead in Tuesday’s ALDS Game 4, the Astros ended up coasting to victory, beating Chicago 10-1 to advance to the ALCS for an incredible fifth straight season.
- Kiké Hernández hit a walk-off sacrifice fly on Monday night, lifting the Red Sox to a 6-5 victory as they became the first team this year to advance to a League Championship Series. While Boston reached the ALCS relatively quickly, their series victory over the 100-win Rays wasn’t an easy one, and they won their final two games in walk-off fashion.
- This time of year, managers begin to be picked off one by one from their clubs. One that seems to always be on the hot seat is Phillies skipper Joe Girardi. At this point in time, he’s contracted through 2022, a fact that baseball president of operations admitted to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber. But beyond that, is there a long-term future for Joe in Philadelphia?
- There were rumors swirling at the end of the season that the Padres were going to be making some pretty major changes to their coaching staff including at manager. Those rumors proved to be correct as the Padres relieved Jayce Tingler of his managerial duties, although it sounds like they would like to keep him in the organization in some capacity.
- Last Tuesday’s edition of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry wasn’t much of a contest, as the Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and never trailed again, beating the Bronx Bombers 6-2 in the AL Wild Card game to advance to the ALDS. They’ll face yet another AL East rival, going up against the Rays in the five-game series.
- Need a primer on the teams competing for a World Series title this October? Check out our Andersen Pickard’s playoff preview.
- New Rockies GM Bill Schmidt got down to business on Tuesday, signing first baseman C.J. Cron — whose 2021 campaign was the most productive by a Rockies first baseman since Todd Helton was in his prime — to a two-year, $14.5 million extension and right-handed starter Antonio Senzatela to a new five-year, $50.5 million deal with a $14 million club option for 2027. While these moves won’t necessarily make the Rockies better in 2022, they at least should help prevent them from taking a step backward this offseason like they’ve done over the last few years.
- The Nationals took on an interesting reclamation project back in July when they acquired infielder Alcides Escobar and gave him his first major league opportunity since 2018. They were impressed enough by the 34-year-old’s performance to bring him back into the fold for 2022 on Tuesday.
- Clayton Kershaw avoided UCL damage but will not return this postseason. With the 33-year-old set to hit free agency at season’s end, it’s possible that he may have thrown his last pitch for the Dodgers after 14 seasons in blue and white.
- The rumored shake up of the Mets coaching staff got started in a hurry last week as the Mets relieved Luis Rojas of his position as manager. The Mets are simply declining his option for the 2022 season and it sounds like the organization is interested in him staying with them in another role.
- The Giants have successfully overcome virtually every obstacle that’s been thrown their way this season, but they’ll now have to overcome another big one, as their hottest hitter, Brandon Belt, will potentially miss all of the postseason with a fractured thumb.
- After just four starts with the Padres, veteran starter Jake Arrieta was designated for assignment. This could be the end for the 2015 NL Cy Young winner, who rejoined the Cubsprior to this season but was released by Chicago after posting a 6.88 ERA. He joined San Diego last month in hopes of helping an injury-plagued rotation, but he threw for a 10.95 ERA as the Padres more or less fell out of playoff contention with a late-season meltdown.
- MLB is requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all non-playing personnel this postseason.
- While we saw a unique situation with the All-Star Game moved out of Atlanta this season, generally the venue for the ASG is set well in advance and it stays that way. The league announced that Seattle will be be host of the 2023 All-Star Game
- The Royals became the latest MLB organization to adopt a more modern front office structure, promoting longtime GM Dayton Moore to president of baseball operations while elevating assistant GM JJ Picollo to general manager. While Moore will still oversee day-to-day operations, this move will give Picollo, who has drawn interest from other clubs in recent offseasons, more authority and keeps him in Kansas City for the long term.
- Dodgers right-hander Trevor Bauer will remain on administrative leave through rest of season. The real issue that remains is that this is a paid administrative leave. The police and MLB are still working on their own investigations, and it’s very possible that Bauer could face criminal charges. Bauer has not thrown a pitcher in a major league game since June 28th of this year.
- While it was known that Yankees’ reliever Zack Britton had been dealing with elbow issues that were going to require surgery, there was some optimism that he could avoid major surgery and the subsequent recovery period up until recently. Unfortunately for Britton and the Yankees, he was unable to dodge that bullet as he underwent UCL reconstructive surgery that ended his 2021 season and will keep him out for most of 2022 as well.
- Given the team’s recent run of success with very limited payroll, a lot of teams have expressed interest in the availability of Rays’ VP and GM Erik Neander to help run their own teams. Those teams were unable to pry him away and now it looks like he will be with Tampa for the foreseeable future, as Neander received a promotion to president of baseball operations.