According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan is taking a leave of absence from the team to be with his wife, who underwent surgery in August of last year to remove a brain tumor.
“As far as how long he’ll be gone, no one knows,” Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said Thursday night.
The Cardinals’ front office is expected to make a formal announcement on Friday morning, with more details on the matter and perhaps some news about a temporary replacement.
Duncan is widely regarded as the best pitching coach in Major League Baseball. He worked alongside recently-retired manager Tony La Russa for 28 seasons with three different organizations.
UPDATE, 9:24 PM: Two St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporters, Joe Strauss and Bernie Miklasz, are hearing that Duncan is stepping down from his job for good, not taking a leave of absence.
UPDATE, 9:29 PM: Miklasz says Duncan “will remain linked to the organization in another capacity,” and that bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist is expected to be promoted to the role of pitching coach.
UPDATE, 9:44 PM: According to MLB.com’s Matthew Leach, it is indeed being termed as a “leave of absence” by the Cardinals, who have released a short statement:
The Nationals announced that third baseman Anthony Rendon has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 19, with a toe contusion. Pitcher Austin Adams was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse.
Rendon fouled a pitch off of his foot on April 13 in a game against the Rockies. The Nationals were hoping he wouldn’t need to go on the disabled list, which is why he was day-to-day for a week and a half. Unfortunately, Rendon’s stint on the DL can only be backdated to Thursday, so he won’t be eligible to return until this weekend.
Rendon, 27, is hitting .286/.355/.411 with a home run and four RBI in 62 plate appearances so far this season. Wilmer Difo has been handling third base while Rendon has been out and figures to continue doing so for the next week or so.