The Cardinals have dismissed Derek Lilliquist as their pitching coach.
Lilliquist had the job for the past six season. This year the club was not terrible — the Cards ranked 10th in the majors with a 4.01 ERA — but they want to go in a different direction. Bullpen coach Blaise Ilsley was also let go. The rest of Mike Matheny’s coaching staff is expected to return in 2018.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Triple-A pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd should get serious consideration for the job.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.