Curt Young leaves as A’s pitching coach; where’s he headed?

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The Athletics just announced in a press release that Curt Young has declined the team’s offer to return as pitching coach next season.

Young, who was originally drafted by the A’s in 1981, spent 27 years in the organization, including the past seven as the team’s pitching coach. Overseeing the youngest pitching staff in the majors this season, the A’s led the American League with a 3.56 ERA.

“Curt has a long history within our organization and we appreciate all of his contributions to the A’s-as a player, as a minor league coach, and ultimately as the pitching coach here in Oakland,” said David Forst, A’s assistant general manager. “We are disappointed that he has chosen not to accept our offer to return in 2011 but we wish him well as he explores other opportunities within the game.”

Both Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle and Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe see Young as a possible fit with the Red Sox since John Farrell is expected to be named as Blue Jays manager, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that he will likely join Kirk Gibson’s staff in Arizona.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.

Dodgers can clinch NL West on Friday

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The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.

Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.

The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.