With Mickey Callaway taking over the Mets’ managerial job, the Indians were in need of a pitching coach. They aren’t any longer, though, as the team just announced that they have hired Carl Willis for the job.
This is Willis’ second tour of duty as the Indians’ pitching coach, having served in that role from 2003 through 2009 under manager Eric Wedge. He has spent the past couple of years as John Farrell’s pitching coach with the Boston Red Sox. He also served in Boston.
Four pitchers have won Cy Young Awards under his tutelage: CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Rick Porcello and Felix Hernandez.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: