The Phillies fire pitching coach Rich Dubee

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This will solve everything:

Salisbury’s full story is here.

I guess when you have a bad season heads roll, and there’s no escaping the fact that the Phillies pitching staff, on the whole, was terrible (it ranked 27th out of 30 in ERA). But it’s hard to see how Dubee is responsible for what went on in Philly this year.

Roy Halladay is basically dead. Cliff Lee was amazing but was screwed by run support. Cole Hamels started poorly but rebounded. The bullpen faltered at inopportune times but, way more significantly, over 20 starts were given to flotsam like Tyler Cloyd, Ethan Martin, Raul Valdez and Zach Miner. Another 13 to Halladay. Fourteen to an ineffective John Lannan. Most of the blame would rest with the latent talent (or health in Halladay’s case) of the Phillies’ staff, not how they were coached by Dubee. That’s on Ruben Amaro, not Dubee.

Of course there’s also the matter of Ryne Sandberg taking over and, in all likelihood, wanting his own man on staff. Which is more understandable than Dubee being fired for cause.

Report: Pirates sign Felipe Rivero to four-year contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.

Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.

Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.

Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”