Athletics place Conor Jackson on DL once again

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Conor Jackson, who just rejoined the Athletics on Monday, was placed on the DL for the third time this season Friday with a strained abdominal muscle.
The A’s acquired Jackson from the Diamondbacks on June to step in as their starting left fielder, but he’s played in just 18 games since, hitting .228/.362/.316 with five RBI.
After Jackson’s previous injury, the A’s opted to give top prospect Chris Carter a look in left field. Carter, though, was sent down to make room for Jackson on Monday and wasn’t brought back following a very rough week in the majors. Jeff Larish was recalled instead.
That would seem to suggest that Travis Buck could get a look in the outfield to see if he should be in Oakland’s plans for 2011. Buck hit .288/.377/.474 in 285 at-bats as a 23-year-old rookie in 2007, but he’s been used sparingly by the A’s since due to injuries and ineffectiveness.
If Buck can establish himself, it’s far less likely that Jackson will be invited back next year. Jackson is making $3.1 million this season, so he’s likely to be non-tendered this winter, though he could always be re-signed at a lesser price.

Cubs fire pitching coach Chris Bosio

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In something of a surprising move, the Chicago Cubs fired their pitching coach, Chris Bosio on Saturday. Bosio had held the job since the 2011-12 offseason.

The Cubs made the NLCS this year, but were nowhere as near the formidable as their 2016 World Series champion iteration. While there were several reasons for that, one was that the pitching staff, which featured multiple, better-than-expected performances in 2016, but took a step back in 2017. Some of that was personnel — Joe Maddon did not have Aroldis Chapman to call on in the postseason like he did last year — and a lot of that was mere regression from veterans like Jon Lester and John Lackey. A lot of it had to do with a much higher walk rate this year than in the past.

Still, there was no chatter during the season or at the time of the Cubs’ playoff exit the other day that Bosio might be a fall guy. The Chicago Tribune reports that it was Joe Maddon’s call and that he had grown displeased with Bosio. The Tribune report suggests that Cubs pitchers will be displeased with the move as they were devoted to Bosio. Coaches, of course, come and go, so I suspect they’ll get over it.

Whatever the case, Bosio likely won’t say unemployed for long. He is widely credited with helping Jake Arrieta transform from a project to an ace and for the considerable and the somewhat unexpectedly successful development of Kyle Hendricks. The Tribune suggests that he’d be a good fit in Minnesota, where his former teammate Paul Molitor is in search of a new pitching coach.

There are several intriguing coaches available at the moment, most notably Mike Maddux, who has been the Nationals pitching coach but whose status is now in flux given the firing of Dusty Baker. Maddux’s brother Greg, of course, is a spring training pitching instructor for the Cubs. The Tribune adds that Maddon may look to his old Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey or, possibly, even recently fired Red Sox manager John Farrell, who made his bones as a pitching coach.