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McHugh, Odorizzi, Stroman win their arbitration cases

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Six arbitration decisions were announced on Tuesday. The results were being withheld until all cases were completed so that one case didn’t impact the other cases. Collin McHugh, Jake Odorizzi, and Marcus Stroman won their cases. Taijuan Walker, Chase Anderson, and Michael Wacha lost their cases. All six players were eligible for arbitration for the first time.

For those unfamiliar with the process, players eligible for arbitration file a salary figure they think they deserve and the team counters. If an agreement can’t be reached, they go to an arbitration hearing where an independent arbitrator will pick either the player’s submitted figure or the team’s figure. There is no in between in this instance.

Astros starter McHugh, 29, filed for $3.85 million and the team countered at $3.35 million. The right-hander made 33 starts for the Astros in 2016, putting up a 4.34 ERA and a 177/54 K/BB ratio over 184 2/3 innings. He was arguably the Astros’ most dependable starter.

Rays starter Odorizzi, 26, filed for $4.1 million and the Rays countered at $3.825 million. Over 33 starts, he posted a 3.69 ERA with a 166/54 K/BB ratio across 187 2/3 innings.

Blue Jays starter Stroman, 25, filed for $3.4 million and the Jays countered at $3.1 million. The right-hander crossed the 200-inning plateau, finishing with a 4.37 ERA and a 166/54 K/BB ratio in 32 starts.

Diamondbacks starter Walker, 24, filed for $2.6 million and the Diamondbacks countered at $2.25 million. In his second full season, the right-hander made 25 starts for the Mariners, authoring a 4.22 ERA and a 119/37 K/BB ratio over 134 1/3 innings.

Brewers starter Anderson, 29, filed for $2.85 million and the Brewers countered at $2.45 million. In 151 2/3 innings, the right-hander posted a 4.39 ERA and a 120/53 K/BB ratio.

Cardinals starter Wacha, 25, filed for $3.2 million and the Cardinals countered at $2.775 million. He finished with an ugly 5.09 ERA and a 114/45 K/BB ratio in 138 innings. Wacha battled a shoulder injury but is expected to be included in the club’s rotation “if he’s physically able,” according to GM John Mozeliak.

Giants remove pitching coach Dave Righetti

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After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.

According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.

Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.

Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.