Dave Roberts will have an old friend on his National League coaching staff for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game, inviting Rockies manager Bud Black for the midsummer classic on July 13 at Coors Field.
The two are good friends, with Roberts serving as Black’s first base coach from 2011-13 with the Padres, then as bench coach in 2014-15. Black was also on Roberts’ first All-Star coaching staff, in 2018, along with Nationals manager Dave Martinez. In 2019, Roberts had Braves manager Brian Snitker on his coaching staff.
This year, in addition to Black, Roberts said there will be an honorary manager on his All-Star staff who hasn’t yet been announced. It’s unclear if Roberts will also add another coach to his All-Star staff, in addition to the Dodgers coaching staff that will accompany Roberts to Denver, but he does have another invitation out.
“I’ve reached out to George Lombard because he was obviously on staff last year,” Roberts said of his former first base and outfield coach of the previous five seasons. “But as I understand it, he might decline because he’s in another league, another team, which we completely understand and respect.”
Stephanie Apstein and Alex Prewitt at Sports Illustrated reported on the prevalence of pitch-doctoring in MLB, something the league could potentially crack down on (by enforcing existing rules) soon. In the piece, SI notes that the Dodgers have the largest increase in spin rate on four-seam fastballs this year, while noting that a big reason is a change in personnel (specifically, adding Trevor Bauer and Jimmy Nelson, while lower-spin pitchers Pedro Báez, Dylan Floro, and Adam Kolarek were jettisoned).
Dave Roberts was asked about the SI report and potential pending crackdown by MLB. From Jorge Castillo at the Los Angeles Times, Roberts said, “Once things are implemented, then we’ll adhere to the rules. That’s the way we should all look at it.”
Corey Seager is still working through his rehab during pregame workouts on the road trip with the Dodgers. Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register has details from Atlanta.
Luke Hooper at FanGraphs looked at Max Muncy’s range at first base, aided by Muncy’s deceptive speed: “His quick acceleration but low top speed is like a baseball version of the sprinter that gets out ahead of Usain Bolt after about 20 yards only to lose by a full second. Baseball is rarely a 100-yard dash, though, and quick acceleration, especially for an infielder, is the attribute to have.”
Tom Glavine, who Clayton Kershaw passed on the all-time strikeout list on Saturday, was a guest of David Vassegh on Dodgers on Deck, sharing what impresses him most about the fellow left-handed great.
Team USA Baseball, led by former Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia as manager, and with former Dodgers Matt Kemp, Logan Forsythe, and Tim Federowicz on the roster, won their qualifying tournament on Saturday, and qualified for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo later this summer.