LEADING OFF: Skippers on the hot seat, playoff teams ailing
A look at what’s happening around the majors Monday:
The day after the regular season can be dicey for managers — a lot of teams like to make changes.
A couple of clubs got a head start on their winter plans Sunday, with the Cubs announcing Joe Maddon wouldn’t be back and the Pirates firing Clint Hurdle. That makes five openings — San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy and Kansas City’s Ned Yost stepped away after previously saying they would retire, and San Diego’s Andy Green was fired on Sept. 21.
Philadelphia’s Gabe Kapler and the New York Mets’ Mickey Callaway are thought to be in danger of losing their jobs this week.
Kapler’s Phillies have gone 161-163 over two seasons, including 81-81 this year after signing Bryce Harper to a $330 million, 13-year contract, also adding Andrew McCutchen and David Robertson and trading for star catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Jean Segura.
Callaway’s Mets are 163-161, including 86-76 this year after first-year general manager Brodie Van Wagenen proclaimed New York the NL East favorite, telling rivals “come get us.”
Hitting and pitching coaches across the majors could be in jeopardy, too, on teams that missed the playoffs.
The Brewers hope outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun will be OK for Tuesday night’s wild-card game at Washington. Cain sprained his left ankle sliding home Saturday, and while manager Craig Counsell was “encouraged” Sunday, he also didn’t have a timeline for Cain’s potential return. Counsell is more optimistic on Braun, who left a game Friday with a left calf strain but is expected to be ready for the Nationals.
Counsell, meanwhile, has yet to say who will start against Washington ace Max Scherzer.
HOW YOU DOIN’?
The Twins and Yankees have players in need of treatment before they open an AL Division Series in the Bronx on Friday. Minnesota rookie Luis Arraez sprained his right ankle Saturday, and head athletic trainer Tony Leo said it could be anywhere from a few days to a week before he’s ready to return. Arraez hit .334 in 92 games.
New York third baseman Gio Urshela sprained his left ankle Sunday, but the Yankees say it was mild with no swelling. Urshela said he expects to be ready for the opener. The Yankees are less certain on slugger Edwin Encarnación and his left oblique injury, although he’s been adamant he’ll be set.
WAIT AND SEE
The Astros are awaiting an update on shortstop Carlos Correa heading into their ALDS opener at home Friday against the winner of the Tampa Bay-Oakland wild-card game.
Correa sat out the final week of the regular season with a back injury and was expected to work out early this week to determine whether he can play in the first round. Correa has barely played since Aug. 19, making only 11 plate appearances since. He is batting .279 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs.