At the end of his first spring training as a Cub, in April 2015, Jon Lester thought his issue about throwing over to first base—which he doesn’t, if he can help it, which is most of the time—was no big deal. He still didn’t think so when the Cardinals took big leads off him and used them to help themselves toward an early-season 3-0 win televised nationally.
The Milwaukee Brewers have thrown out the first manager of the season. And while you expect that when a team starts slowly, you also can’t help wondering how often throwing out the manager is the kind of move made by the general manager who should be measured for execution and just might get it yet.
Ron Roenicke, a graduate of the Mike Scioscia school of coaching, wasn’t the garrulous type fellow alum Joe Maddon is, but he is an acute tactician and handler of players. The problem wasn’t Roenicke’s game thinking or personality balancing, the problem was and is the team he was handed from the outset.
Joe Blanton has a new home in the Philadelphia Phillies’ continuing bid to fine-tune the club for a 2013 comeback: he goes to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who claimed him off the waiver wire Friday, in exchange for either the proverbial player to be named later or some fresh cabbage from the Dodgers’ crisper. Like his erstwhile-turned-continuing teammate Shane Victorino, who was dealt to the Dodgers as the non-waiver trade deadline loomed Tuesday, Blanton can become a free agent at season’s end.
The Ryan Dempster situation may be hovering in mid-air, but that didn’t stop the Chicago Cubs from dealing elsewhere Monday. They sent Geovanny Soto (C) to the Texas Rangers for a minor league pitcher; and, they sent Paul Maholm (LHP) and Reed Johnson (OF) to the Atlanta Braves for another pair of pitching prospects.