Report: Rockies to hire Bud Black as team's new manager


Report: Rockies to hire Bud Black as team's new manager

DENVER — Bud Black is taking his pitching expertise to hitter-friendly Coors Field.

The highly regarded mound guru has been hired as manager of the Colorado Rockies, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday night because the move had not yet been announced.

The Rockies scheduled a Monday news conference to introduce their new manager, but the release did not reveal the team's choice.

Black takes over for Walt Weiss, who stepped down last month when his contract expired after four years in charge of the Rockies. They finished 75-87 last season, their best record since 2010.

The 59-year-old Black managed the San Diego Padres for nearly nine seasons before he was fired in June 2015. He compiled a 649-713 record and was voted NL Manager of the Year in 2010 after the Padres went 90-72, their most wins since a franchise-record 98 in 1998.

Washington nearly hired Black last year before contract talks broke down and the Nationals gave the job to Dusty Baker.

After a major league career that spanned 15 seasons on the mound, Black became a respected pitching coach for the Angels. He brings a wealth of experience to a team that's long struggled to get outs in Denver's thin air a mile above sea level.

Colorado had a 4.91 ERA this past season, tied with Cincinnati for 13th out of 15 National League teams. Arizona (5.09) was the only club that was worse.

Yet the Rockies boast young talent in a starting rotation led by Jon Gray, the third overall pick in 2013 draft. Tyler Chatwood had the best road ERA (1.69) in the majors last season, while Chad Bettis and Tyler Anderson made big strides. The team will more than likely lose Jorge De La Rosa, the franchise's all-time winningest pitcher, in free agency.

One of the biggest challenges will be shoring up a shaky bullpen that blew 28 save chances in 2016. Colorado finished 24-36 in games decided by no more than two runs.

Black was lauded for the way he ran bullpens with the Angels and Padres.

On offense, Black inherits an NL batting champion in second baseman DJ LeMahieu, an all-around star in third baseman Nolan Arenado, an up-and-coming shortstop in Trevor Story and a feared hitter in outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

"I like the group that we have," Arenado said after the final game of the season. "I think we are close. But basically when I say that it's for the fans. I want fans to know that so they don't lose hope. I feel bad. They come out every day, to see us lose the way we do sometimes."

Arenado led the NL in RBIs (133) and tied for the home run title with 41. He played stellar defense at third base again and could be in line for his fourth straight Gold Glove.

Black spent a large portion of his career with Kansas City and was part of a Royals rotation that helped the team win the 1985 World Series. He won 121 games with Kansas City, Seattle, Cleveland, San Francisco and Toronto.

After his playing days, he became the pitching coach for the Angels and spent seven seasons under manager Mike Scioscia. Black helped the team to the 2002 World Series title before taking over the Padres heading into the 2007 season.

Black rejoined the Angels as a special assistant to the general manager last November.

Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's


Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles third baseman Justin Turner's broken left wrist is expected to heal without surgery, according to Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts.

Turner was hurt Monday when hit by a pitch from Oakland's Kendall Graveman.

Turner arrived at the Dodgers spring training facility with a cast over his wrist Tuesday morning and was scheduled to see a hand specialist for an estimate of the time he could miss.

"We know that it's not a surgery thing, it's just essentially time," Roberts said. "That's the initial thought. That could change but that's what I've heard."

Turner hit .322 with 21 homers and 71 RBIs last year and was a first-time All-Star. He had 14 RBIs against the Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series and was voted MVP.

The Dodgers appear poised to move Logan Forsythe from second base to third in Turner's absence and have Enrique Hernandez and Chase Utley share time at second.

"It obviously makes a lot of sense to have Logan over there a lot more at third, and to kind of put together some guys at second base, and leave Chris (Taylor) in center field," Roberts said.

Backup catcher Austin Barnes also could see time at second base.

Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts


Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants moved closer to setting their opening day roster on Monday when they made a significant round of cuts to their spring training roster. 

A total of 15 players were reassigned or optioned, bringing the total to 31 players remaining in camp. Many of the players cut Monday entered the spring competing for jobs. 

In the outfield, Mac Williamson and Austin Slater were optioned to Triple-A and Chris Shaw was reassigned to minor league camp. Williamson had a huge spring and was the likeliest of the trio to push for an opening day spot, but he'll start his year in the minors. Steven Duggar was not among the cuts, and he remains an option to make the team, with the Giants also looking at Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez and Jarrett Parker for backup spots. Hernandez and Parker are out of minor league options. 

Tyler Beede was optioned and Andrew Suarez was reassigned to minor league camp, leaving three players vying for the final two rotation spots. Ty Blach and Chris Stratton have been the favorites all along, although both struggled the last time out and Derek Holland has had a strong spring. 

Both backup catchers -- Trevor Brown and Hector Sanchez -- were reassigned, along with Orlando Calixte, who saw time in the big leagues last year. Joan Gregorio, Jose Valdez, Justin O'Conner and Kyle Jensen were also reassigned. Chase d'Arnaud, who appeared to be making a strong push, was on the list, too, leaving Josh Rutledge as the only competition for Kelby Tomlinson for the final infield spot. 

Finally, Derek Law and Roberto Gomez were optioned to Triple-A. Josh Osich remains and appears the frontrunner for a bullpen job. Julian Fernandez, the Rule 5 pick, also remains in camp. 

The Giants break camp on Friday.