The Athletics announced on Thursday afternoon that pitching coach Curt Young has been relieved of his duties and replaced by Scott Emerson.
The Athletics’ pitching has been among the worst in baseball, carrying an aggregate 4.83 ERA. The rotation ERA is 4.66 while the bullpen ERA is an unsightly 5.07. While Jesse Hahn and Sean Manaea have had decent results, Jharel Cotton has struggled mightily and Sonny Gray hasn’t quite returned to 2015 form.
Young, 57, spent 10 of his 11 seasons in the majors between 1983-93 with the Athletics. In 2004, he was named the Athletics’ pitching coach and held that position until 2010. He was named the Red Sox pitching coach, but lasted only one year there before returning to the A’s in 2012, the position he’s held ever since until today.
Emerson, 45, had been serving as the Athletics’ bullpen coach since the 2015 season. He pitched in the minor league systems of the Orioles and Red Sox from 1992-96, then went into coaching starting in 2000.
MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports that Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol.
In a statement, via Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Polanco denied knowingly using the substance. Polanco said, “To be clear, I did not intentionally consume this steroid. I now know, however, that my intention alone is not a good enough excuse and I will pay the price for my error in judgment. The substance that I requested from my athletic trainer in the Dominican Republic and consented to take was a combination of vitamin B12 and an iron supplement, something that is not unusual or illegal for professional athletes to take. Unfortunately, what I was given was not that supplement and I take full responsibility for what is in my body.”
Last year was Polanco’s first full season in the majors. He hit .256/.313/.410 with 13 home runs, 74 RBI, 60 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 544 plate appearances.
The Twins have Eduardo Escobar, Ehire Adrianza, or Erick Aybar to handle shortstop while Polanco is out. The club could also give the starting job to prospect Nick Gordon, ranked No. 4 in the Twins’ system according to MLB Pipeline. Gordon had a solid 2017 campaign at Double-A Chattanooga, posting a .749 OPS with 29 doubles and 13 steals in 578 PA.