Goss: Dean Anna hoping to make New York Yankees’ roster
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org December 6, 2013 11:48PM
Updated: December 6, 2013 11:49PM
Baseball’s winter meetings are on tap this week at Orlando, Fla.
While that time traditionally has seen significant player movement, and where the groundwork has been laid for further deals and signings, many teams have begun Christmas shopping early. A couple of moves already made impacted the futures of area major leaguers, either directly or indirectly.
For example, Dean Anna (Lincoln-Way East), the defending Pacific Coast League batting champion, has a new home. The San Diego Padres traded the infielder to the Yankees for pitcher Ben Paullus. Anna, 26, hit .331 at Tucson in 2013. The Yankees have placed him on their 40-man roster.
With the Yankees’ infield uncertainty and the left-handed-hitting Anna’s ability to play shortstop, second base and third base, he may be a good fit on the big club. The Yankees, who Friday lost free agent Robinson Cano to Seattle, have added infielders Brendan Ryan, Eduardo Nunez and Kelly Johnson, but if the big names — Alex Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter (if he is not healthy) — are missing, Anna may become a big-leaguer for the first time.
A recent Washington Nationals trade, acquiring right-hander Doug Fister from Detroit for pitchers Ian Krol and Robbie Ray and infielder Steve Lombardozzi, makes it less likely right-hander Tanner Roark (Wilmington) will open 2014 in the Nationals’ starting rotation. However, he remains a candidate.
Roark went 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA in 532/3 innings after being promoted to the big leagues in August. He made five starts among his 14 appearances. He can pitch in relief and be a spot starter, which may be his role entering the season with a new manager, Matt Williams, who replaced the retired Davey Johnson.
Cincinnati left-hander Tony Cingrani (Lincoln-Way Central) has a new, but familiar, manager. Former Reds pitching coach Bryan Price took the reins after Dusty Baker was fired. Cingrani went 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA in 2013, mainly as a starter, though he was sidelined late in the season because of back spasms. There has been one change in the Reds’ rotation this offseason, but Cingrani’s spot is secure.
Coomer & Cubs
Former major leaguer Ron Coomer (Lockport) is reported to be a finalist, along with Todd Hollandsworth, for the job as Pat Hughes’ new partner in the Cubs’ radio booth.
Coomer spent his first several years with the Minnesota Twins. The Cubs were one of the later stops in his career, along with the Yankees and Dodgers. He has worked for 10 years as the baseball analyst for Fox Sports North, the primary television outlet for the Twins, has won several Emmys and does regular radio gigs in the Twin Cities.
He takes his work seriously, but he says baseball has to be fun. That’s how he treats it.
The people in Minnesota love “Coom Dawg.” He very much enjoys being there. On the other hand, he has loved the Cubs all his life, and broadcasting their games would be a dream come true. So if he is offered the opportunity to join Hughes on Cubs’ radio, it will be a difficult decision.
‘Kash’ & Old Timers
At Monday’s quarterly meeting of The Old Timers Baseball Association of Will County, Mike “Kash” Kashirsky entertained local baseball enthusiasts discussing the White Sox.
Kashirsky, whose family recently moved from Minooka to Lockport, played ball at Providence, briefly played in the Sox organization, has played and managed in the Frontier League (largely with the Windy City ThunderBolts, who retired his number), has been the head coach and now is director of baseball operations for Robert Morris University and is a high school and college basketball official.
Then there is his full-time position. He is the left-handed batting practice pitcher for the Sox, throwing what he estimated to be 300 pitches a day in-season, but also throwing to and assisting players whenever they need work in the offseason.
Kashirsky had interesting material to relate, and he answered all questions thrown his way. He enjoys his work. As so many remarked to me afterward, he has a dream job.