Shelby Miller, the Cards’ ace pitching prospect, has previously been considered off-limits in any trade discussions. That could change soon, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Mozeliak must now deal off the top of his minor-league pitching depth to acquire an impact starter. Secondary names such as the San Diego Padres’ Edinson Volquez and Oakland A’s Bartolo Colon could offer value at a lesser price.
For the first time the organization might be willing to include elite prospect Shelby Miller in trade talks.
Miller’s stock has fallen, as he has put up an ugly 4-8 record with a 6.16 ERA at Triple-A Memphis this year. He’s striking out a lot of guys, but man, he is giving up hits, walks and home runs to beat the band. He’s been like the pitching version of a Three True Outcomes guy in his first tour through the PCL.
Ideally you’d like to give him a chance to figure it out, either for the future of the team or to get his trade value back up, but if a package including Miller can net the Cards a starter who can help them overtake the Pirates in 2012, it seems like they gotta do it.
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.