Rachel Balkovec to manage Yankees' Low-A team, becoming first female manager in minors

On today’s Locked On Giants podcast, host Ben Kaspick discusses the latest news with Major League Baseball and the San Francisco Giants. The first order of business is the major news that Yankees hitting instructor Rachel Balcovec will become the first female manager in affiliated professional baseball. She will manage the Yankees’ Low-A team beginning in 2022, and it puts her on a path to greater things in years to come. Notably, Giants manager Gabe Kapler interviewed Balkovec in 2019 for the position of quality control coach, where she would have worked as a hitting instructor and in strength and development. Balkovec opted to stay with the Yankees, and the move seems to have paid off. Kapler later hired Alyssa Nakken as a major league coach, and she became the first female to hold such a role in major league history. In the past year or so, many women have broken significant barriers, including Kim Ng becoming general manager of the Miami Marlins, the first female to hold that role.

Ben also discusses the latest with the major league lockout. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported today that MLB is going to make a core-economics proposal to the MLB Players Association on Thursday. While this is extremely welcome news, as this will be the first of its kind proposal by either side since the lockout began on Dec. 2, Ben urges listeners not to be overly optimistic about the proposal leading to any significant momentum. It’s entirely possible, if not likely, that the MLBPA will not respond positively to the proposal and we’ll be back to square one.

Finally, Ben discusses the Giants denying the Mets permission to interview pitching coach Andrew Bailey for the Mets’ open bench coach position. It’s debatable whether the position would be a promotion, and it’s pretty late in the offseason for teams to be willing to give up a key member of their staff. Ben relates the situation to the Giants losing Donnie Ecker to the Rangers much earlier in the offseason, when they were willing to allow him to explore the role, one which he eventually was offered and accepted. Ben also discusses Austrailian LHP Genevieve Beacom becoming the first Australian professional baseball player over the weekend. The lefty tossed a scoreless inning and featured a fastball/breaking ball mix.

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