Don’t look for Greg Maddux to be the Cubs’ next pitching coach

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UPDATE: According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, Cubs bullpen coach Lester Strode and Double-A Tennessee pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn are also expected to be considered. For what it’s worth, Levine pegs Riggins as the favorite.

7:35 PM: Now that Larry Rothschild is the new pitching coach for the Yankees, Greg Maddux is the obvious sentimental choice among Cubs’ fans as a potential replacement. Just don’t expect it to actually happen.

Both Carrie Muskat of MLB.com and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune report that Maddux, who currently works as an assistant to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, is not considered a candidate. According to Sullivan, Maddux is not looking to get into a full-time coaching position at the moment.

With Maddux out as a possibility, Sullivan writes that minor league pitching coordinator Mark Riggins is “a leading candidate.” Riggins was credited was the development of 2008 first-round pick Andrew Cashner, who posted a 4.80 ERA and 50/30 K/BB ratio over 54 1/3 innings with the Cubs this past season. Muskat reports that Triple-A Iowa pitching coach Mike Mason is another possibility.

Hendry said that he hopes to have a new pitching coach in place shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”