Coco Crisp goes back on DL for Athletics

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Injured in just his second game of the season, Coco Crisp was placed back on the DL Wednesday because of a strained right intercostal muscle.
Crisp’s return to the outfield mix was one of the reasonings behind Eric Chavez’s DL assignment over the weekend. The A’s intended to use Crisp in center, Rajai Davis in left and Jack Cust at DH. However, those plans have already been scrapped and Davis is back in center field and in the leadoff spot tonight.
Replacing Crisp on the roster is catcher Landon Powell. That will free up Jake Fox to be used at DH and perhaps in the outfield against lefties. Eric Patterson will also benefit from Crisp’s injury. However, tonight it’s Adam Rosales getting the nod in right field, with Ryan Sweeney moving over to left.
Rosales just spent six weeks filling in at second base for Mark Ellis. The versatile right-handed hitter is batting .269/.333/.373 in 134 at-bats this season.
Top prospect Michael Taylor wasn’t a candidate to be called up in Crisp’s place. He’s on the DL with a calf injury, and he was hitting just .232/.290/.408 in 125 at-bats for Triple-A Sacramento before going down.

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.