Duncan hoping to remain with Cards for three more years

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The Cardinals still don’t know whether Tony La Russa will manage in 2011. But his longtime sidekick, pitching coach Dave Duncan, is locked in for at least one more year.

Duncan told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday that he would like to coach for three more seasons in St. Louis before retiring.

“The ideal situation would not be to coach in St. Louis for one more year then find another place for two more years,” Duncan said. “The ideal situation would be to coach three years in the same place.”

Duncan has voiced frustration in the past about the organization’s handling of the minor league ranks and a lack of a club-wide pitching philosophy, but those issues have mostly been cleared up and the 65-year-old former catcher is now consulted by farm director Josh Vuchs on nearly every pitching-relate move.

Duncan has served as a pitching coach in the major leagues for close to 30 seasons now and is surely ready for an extended vacation, but his rotation in 2011 will feature two Cy Young Award candidates in Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, and also young left-hander Jaime Garcia. If the Cardinals manage to work out a deal with free agent righty Jake Westbrook, even better.

George Springer exits game with hamstring injury

George Springer
AP Images
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Astros right fielder George Springer left Friday’s game with yet another injury, this one on a sliding catch attempt in the eighth inning. As Springer converged with Yuli Gurriel and Aledmys Díaz on a high pop-up, he slid into foul territory and appeared to be in moderate discomfort after getting up.

From the replay, it looked as through Springer might have felt some pain in his left hamstring, but the Astros have yet to comment on the exact nature or severity of his injury. After exiting the field, he was promptly replaced by Josh Reddick in the right field corner, while Tony Kemp entered the game to take over in left.

It’s been a rough month for the 29-year-old outfielder, who narrowly avoided a trip to the injured list after missing four games with lower back stiffness earlier this week. Following the Astros’ 4-3 win over the Red Sox, manager A.J. Hinch told reporters he’s “not looking forward to the diagnosis” this time around, and expects to place Springer on the IL until he can work back to full strength.