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The second World Series travel day once again hosted an onslaught of news. The Red Sox formally introduced Chaim Bloom as their new general manager, while the Phillies and Cubs held media conferences for their new managers, Joe Girardi and David Ross, respectively.
On the other side, the Pirates completed their slow rollout of a purge, firing general manager Neal Huntington after previously canning team president Frank Coonelly and manager Clint Hurdle. Also, the Yankees fired pitching coach Larry Rothschild, which is symbolic of greater structural change.
Although Rothschild is the only announced change to the major league pitching staff, his dismissal comes as the organization is turning over nearly their entire pitching development infrastructure. In a radical overhauling of their minor league coaching system, the Yankees fired the pitching coaches at nearly all of their affiliate levels.
The changes throughout the organization have been taking place over the course of the season. Danny Borrell, who spent 11 seasons working in the Yankees minor league system and the last five as their lead pitching coordinator, left to become the pitching coach at Georgia Tech. The Yankees then hired Sam Briend as their new director of pitching, a role that would have overseen Borrell. He was previously the director of player development at Driveline Baseball.
The White Sox brought a more modest offering to the table, outrighting one-tenth of their 40-man roster this afternoon. Manny Bañuelos is gone from the pitching side, as is Ryan Cordell, Ryan Goins and Matt Skole from the position player side.
None of them are any surprise. Goins was the only one with a positive presence on the roster, and his 0.2 WAR was frontloaded. As for the other three, the White Sox are trying to put more life into their 40-man roster, because they’ve considerably slashed the bottom of the bWAR leaderboard.
- Daniel Palka, -1.4
- Dylan Covey, -1.2
Yonder Alonso, -0.9 Jon Jay, -0.8 Charlie Tilson, -0.8 Jose Rondon, -0.7 Skole, -0.6 Cordell, -0.6 AJ Reed, -0.6 Nicky Delmonico, -0.5
- Carson Fulmer, -0.4
Bañuelos, -0.4 Ervin Santana, -0.4
- Kelvin Herrera, -0.4
Palka, Covey and Fulmer seem like marked men, especially since Covey is the only one with an option remaining. Four does a lot of the lifting for the time being, especially since impending free agents like Ross Detwiler, Iván Nova, Hector Santiago and Welington Castillo should add four more vacancies to the roster shortly after the World Series, outnumbering the players on the 60-day DL (Michael Kopech, Carlos Rodón, Ryan Burr) who will have to be reinstated, which I didn’t initially acknowledge. That’ll reduce the 40-man roster to 34 (and 33 for as long as Jose Abreu is unsigned), which is plenty of room for now.