We usually don’t take spring training results all that seriously, but for 49-year-old Jamie Moyer, every outing matters. And today’s was a discouraging one.
Moyer was knocked around for four runs on six hits over 1 1/3 innings this afternoon against the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A squad, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. He threw 41 pitches in all while allowing two homers and striking out two.
Moyer, who signed a minor league deal with the Rockies over the winter, is attempting a comeback this spring after missing the entire 2011 season following Tommy John surgery. The veteran southpaw has allowed just one run over five innings during Cactus League action, but he was scratched from a scheduled minor league appearance on Friday due to left leg soreness.
Assuming Moyer didn’t have more issues with the leg this afternoon, he will continue his audition for a rotation spot Thursday against the Giants.
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.