The Yankees need Halladay? Really?

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You’d think that mere hours after Joba Chamberlain pitched an
efficient, dominating game wouldn’t be the right time to trot out your
“the Yankees need a starter and should trade for Halladay” column, but John Harper at the Daily News trots it out anyway:

After the most dominating performance of Joba Chamberlain’s
much-debated career as a starter, the timing should be perfect to write
something cute like: So who needs Roy Halladay? Only it couldn’t be
more misleading.

Chamberlain was Halladay-esque, all right, in shutting down the Rays
in a 6-2 victory Wednesday night, pitching eight shutout innings as he
suddenly seems to be coming of age as a starter. But that only adds to
the Joba dilemma. More innings essentially means less time in the
rotation in the coming weeks.

He sort of has me coming along with him until he reminds us that, if
Joba was not in the rotation, either Alfredo Aceves or Sergio Mitre
would be your putative Game 4 starter in the playoffs. Really? You
think the Yankees are going to allow that, especially if Chamberlain
continues to display his newly-found, efficient mojo? Please. They’d
let Phil Hughes throw more than eight pitches a game before they’d go
into battle against the Angels or Tigers with Aceves or Mitre on the
mound. At least assuming they’re not totally insane.

The next page over, Flip Bondy says that the Mets — yes, the Mets — should deal for Halladay.

Get the sense that the tabloid guys are bored today?

Giants remove pitching coach Dave Righetti

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After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.

According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.

Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.

Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.