Reds third base coach Mark Berry was diagnosed with throat cancer during spring training and sat out the first two-and-half months of the season while undergoing treatment.
Berry returned to the Reds last night and resumed coaching third base, which is a job he’s done for a decade now as part of a 30-year run in the Reds organization.
Berry talked to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com about his treatment back in June and it sounded pretty miserable, including a 40-pound weight loss, so it’s great to know he’s feeling strong enough to coach again.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”