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- The Padres are expected to dismiss manager Jayce Tingler after the season. Considering the Padres collapsed in the second half of the season like a house of cards in a tornado, this move shocks very few. Word on the street is that general manager A.J. Preller will look for a veteran manager to fill Tingler’s role.
- The New York Post’s Mike Puma thinking that the off-season Mets overhaul of the coaching staff will leave a lone survivor—pitching coach Jeremy Hefner. That means they’ll be posting an Indeed listing for a new manager pretty soon.
- Max Munchy left yesterday’s game after a collision at first base caused an apparent wrist injury. Now, that injury could keep him from the National League Wild Card Game, reports Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times. While he hasn’t ruled it out yet, manager Dave Roberts says that he’s unsure if Munchy will be able to join the team if the Dodgers continue to advance.
- The New York Yankees have won the chance to play in the American League Wild Card Game against the Boston Red Sox. The winner will go on to play the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
- The 2021 season is coming to a close and several playoff spots have been up for grabs the final week of the season. Two of those spots are now set as the Braves clinched their fourth straight division title on Thursday evening and the Astros won the AL West for the fourth time in the last five seasons as well.
- Sometimes, players can’t get out of their own way. The Brewers recently celebrated clinching the NL Central title and normally that is awesome. However, Devin Williams apparently took the “celebrating” a bit far and not only punched a wall, but broke his throwing hand in the process which is likely to keep him out for the entirety of the Brewers playoff run. Oof.
- FanGraphs gave the Cardinals 2.8% odds to make the playoffs on September 7. Since then, however, they’ve won 19 of 20 and reeled off an incredible 17-game winning streak. They punched their ticket to the postseason by defeating the Brewers on Tuesday night, clinching the second NL Wild Card spot and leaving just one playoff spot up for grabs in the National League — the NL East title, which is likely to go to the Braves but still theoretically could be won by the Phillies.
- With the Mets eliminated from playoff contention, they’ll shut down Jacob deGrom rather than activating him from the injured list for the final week of the season. We’re left to wonder what could have been for deGrom, who had a 1.08 ERA in 15 starts this season, if he hadn’t gotten injured just prior to the All-Star break.
- 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 miss the rest of the regular season and potentially all of the postseason with a fractured thumb.
- In case you missed this atrocity, Conor McGregor threw the worst first pitch ever at the Cubs game. Like, seriously, you need to try to be that bad.
- The Mets have placed J.D. Davis on the 10-day IL due to a sprain in his left hand. While the move is retroactive to September 23rd, Davis is all but done for the season. New York also activated righty Sean Reid-Foley from the 60-day injured list, and designated outfielder Albert Almora for assignment.
- In what has been one of the strangest controversies this season, the fallout continues. Kevin Kiermaier came into possession of one of the Blue Jays’ game plan cards after a play at the plate and then refused to return it to them. Toronto took exception to that and proceeded to plunk Kiermaier, causing a ruckus. MLB has obviously taken exception to teams throwing at players intentionally, so the pitcher in question, Ryan Borucki, and Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo were suspended for one game despite both saying it was unintentional.
- The Chicago White Sox have been legitimately awesome the last couple of seasons thanks to one of the best offenses in the league and a pitching staff that may be even better. The rewards for their efforts: they have clinched the AL Central title for the first time since 2008.
- 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 Cubs prior 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.
- Last Tuesday was a great day for Yankees right-hander Luis Severino, who returned to a major league mound for the first time since October 2019. Severino, who had Tommy John surgery in February of last year, then dealt with shoulder and groin injuries this summer, threw two scoreless innings of relief in the Yankees’ win over the Rangers.
- MLB is set to require 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 last week, 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.
- Ryan Braun hadn’t played all season and was presumed retired, though he hadn’t made an official announcement until earlier this month. While Braun’s career will forever be tainted by a pair of suspensions — one that was overturned — for using performance enhancing drugs during his MVP season in 2011, there’s no denying that he had a successful 14-year career, played entirely for the Brewers. Braun, the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year, was a six-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger and retires with a .296/.358/.532 slash line.
- The Dodgers became the second team to clinch a spot in the postseason, beating the Diamondbacks to reserve their spot in the playoffs for a ninth straight season. Now they’ll aim to supplant the Giants for the NL West title over the remainder of the season.
- We officially have started the part of the season when the playoff field starts to get set. The surprising San Francisco Giants, who basically no one picked to be in realistic contention in the National League West, became the first team in the league to clinch a playoff spot. The NL West continues to be a dog fight between the Giants and Dodgers, but even if they don’t win the division, the Giants will be playing baseball in October.
- The Dodgers are hoping their chances of running down the Giants for the division crown just got a little better. Clayton Kershaw, arguably the best pitcher of this generation, had been out since the beginning of July with soreness in his elbow but was activated from the injured list.
- Meanwhile, the Padres, who have struggled mightily after being seen by many as the Dodgers’ biggest challenge in the NL West for some time to start the season, are down another starting pitcher as Chris Paddack is hitting the injured list with inflammation in his right elbow.
- 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 will keep him out for the rest of this season and most of the 2022 season at least.
- 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.