Pat Listach leaves Nationals to become Cubs’ bench coach

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After failing to land a manager job following interviews with several teams Pat Listach has reportedly decided to leave his gig as the Nationals’ third base coach to become the Cubs’ bench coach.

Bill Ladson of MLB.com writes that an official announcement is expected shortly after the World Series.

Prior to joining the Nationals’ coaching staff Listach spent four seasons managing in the minors as part of the Cubs’ organization, including a successful stint at Triple-A.

He was an early candidate for the Cubs job before they narrowed things down to Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg, and the 43-year-old former Rookie of the Year will now be Quade’s right-hand man.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.