Mike Trout — a big fan of emojis — tweeted a very Mike Trout tweet last night:
That, obviously, means that Trout is traveling with the Angels to New York for their east coast swing. Which is significant because the only reason to be with the team on the road trip is to take part in baseball activities. Which he will: Pedro Moura of the L.A. Times reports that Trout will begin swinging a bat again soon as his recovery from thumb surgery stays on schedule.
Trout suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb on a headfirst slide during the Angels-Marlins game on May 28. His recovery was expected to be between six and eight weeks, and he may be on the early side of that if he’s swinging a bat now.
Trout was hitting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI and 10 stolen bases through 47 games when he went out. In his absence, Cameron Maybin has handled center field, while Eric Young Jr. has been playing left. Young has been hitting surprisingly well, actually. Because of that the Angels have somehow managed to tread water in Trout’s absence, going 10-10 in the 20 games he’s missed. They were one game under .500 when he left.
In something of a surprising move, the Chicago Cubs fired their pitching coach, Chris Bosio on Saturday. Bosio had held the job since the 2011-12 offseason.
The Cubs made the NLCS this year, but were nowhere as near the formidable as their 2016 World Series champion iteration. While there were several reasons for that, one was that the pitching staff, which featured multiple, better-than-expected performances in 2016, but took a step back in 2017. Some of that was personnel — Joe Maddon did not have Aroldis Chapman to call on in the postseason like he did last year — and a lot of that was mere regression from veterans like Jon Lester and John Lackey. A lot of it had to do with a much higher walk rate this year than in the past.
Still, there was no chatter during the season or at the time of the Cubs’ playoff exit the other day that Bosio might be a fall guy. The Chicago Tribune reports that it was Joe Maddon’s call and that he had grown displeased with Bosio. The Tribune report suggests that Cubs pitchers will be displeased with the move as they were devoted to Bosio. Coaches, of course, come and go, so I suspect they’ll get over it.
Whatever the case, Bosio likely won’t say unemployed for long. He is widely credited with helping Jake Arrieta transform from a project to an ace and for the considerable and the somewhat unexpectedly successful development of Kyle Hendricks. The Tribune suggests that he’d be a good fit in Minnesota, where his former teammate Paul Molitor is in search of a new pitching coach.
There are several intriguing coaches available at the moment, most notably Mike Maddux, who has been the Nationals pitching coach but whose status is now in flux given the firing of Dusty Baker. Maddux’s brother Greg, of course, is a spring training pitching instructor for the Cubs. The Tribune adds that Maddon may look to his old Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey or, possibly, even recently fired Red Sox manager John Farrell, who made his bones as a pitching coach.