Bucs fire pitching coach Kerrigan, bench coach Varsho

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Well, it appears the good vibes that Pedro Alvarez sent into the Pittsburgh air on Saturday night have quickly made their way out of the stratosphere.  The Bucs decided to cut ties with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and bench coach Gary Varsho early Sunday morning, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Kerrigan was hired by the Pirates in October of 2008 and has watched a low-on-talent staff post a 5.07 collective ERA this season, which ranks 28th in the majors.  The 55-year-old has coached for the Expos, the Red Sox, the Phillies and the Yankees, and he also pitched for four-plus seasons.  Now he’ll look for a job elsewhere.

Varsho, 49, was hired to be the Pirates’ bench coach in November of 2007.  He also played in the majors at one point, racking up 204 hits and 84 RBI as an outfielder for the Pirates, Cubs, Reds and Phillies.

Athletics release Santiago Casilla

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have released reliever Santiago Casilla. The club had designated him for assignment on Saturday.

Casilla, 37, posted a 3.16 ERA with 22 strikeouts and 20 walks in 31 1/3 innings of relief for the A’s in the first half. The ERA is certainly not bad, but the strikeout and walk rates are subpar and point to a pitcher who won’t be successful going forward without changing. Additionally, Casilla’s fastball velocity, at 92.9 MPH on average, is the lowest of his career.

Casilla is owed the remainder of his $5.5 million salary for the 2018 season. If he should sign elsewhere, the A’s would be on the hook for the remainder minus the prorated major league minimum salary.