Arizona has successfully lured longtime Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan out of retirement, but it won’t be to take over as the Diamondbacks’ pitching coach.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Duncan will instead join the Diamondbacks organization as a special assistant because “he wasn’t ready to return to coaching full time.”
General manager Kevin Towers explained that he’s happy to have the 68-year-old Duncan on board in any capacity, saying: “It’s pretty much, ‘Hey, you set your schedule and we’d love to have you.'”
And now Duncan will help the Diamondbacks find their new pitching coach.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.