Orioles expected to name new pitching coach early next week

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The Orioles’ search for Rick Adair’s replacement is nearing its conclusion.

Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun hears that the Orioles will make a decision on their next pitching coach early next week. Word could come down as soon as Monday.

While internal candidates are being considered — including bullpen coach Bill Castro, who filled as pitching coach when Adair took a leave of absence in August — Encina hears that four external candidates have emerged as the frontrunners. This group includes Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis, former Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, Rangers bullpen coach Andy Hawkins, and Braves minor league pitching coordinator Dave Wallace.

For what it’s worth, Encina pegs Willis as the best fit for the job.

Mitch Haniger leaves game with oblique injury

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Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger left Tuesday night’s game against the Tigers with a strained oblique, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Haniger suffered the injury running after hitting a single in the third inning. He was 2-for-2 when he exited the game.

Haniger will almost certainly be placed on the 10-day disabled list as a result of the injury. It’s a big loss for the Mariners, as he entered the night batting .321/.430/.590 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 93 plate appearances.

Danny Valencia, who pinch-ran for Haniger and stayed in the game to play right field, is likely to take Haniger’s spot in the lineup and in the outfield during his absence.

Jose Altuve, Teoscar Hernandez leave game after collision

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Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and outfielder Teoscar Hernandez collided attempting to catch a shallow fly ball hit by Indians catcher Yan Gomes in the bottom of the eighth inning during Tuesday night’s game.

Hernandez, who was called up earlier on Tuesday, had just come into the game as a defensive replacement for Carlos Beltran. George Springer entered the game in right field in Hernandez’s place after Hernandez was carted off the field. Altuve was replaced at second base by Marwin Gonzalez.

The Astros should have updates on the conditions of both players after the game. Losing Altuve would be a big deal for the first-place Astros, as he entered the game batting .324/.393/.459 with seven stolen bases.