UPDATE: According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, Cubs bullpen coach Lester Strode and Double-A Tennessee pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn are also expected to be considered. For what it’s worth, Levine pegs Riggins as the favorite.
7:35 PM: Now that Larry Rothschild is the new pitching coach for the Yankees, Greg Maddux is the obvious sentimental choice among Cubs’ fans as a potential replacement. Just don’t expect it to actually happen.
Both Carrie Muskat of MLB.com and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune report that Maddux, who currently works as an assistant to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, is not considered a candidate. According to Sullivan, Maddux is not looking to get into a full-time coaching position at the moment.
With Maddux out as a possibility, Sullivan writes that minor league pitching coordinator Mark Riggins is “a leading candidate.” Riggins was credited was the development of 2008 first-round pick Andrew Cashner, who posted a 4.80 ERA and 50/30 K/BB ratio over 54 1/3 innings with the Cubs this past season. Muskat reports that Triple-A Iowa pitching coach Mike Mason is another possibility.
Hendry said that he hopes to have a new pitching coach in place shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.