Yesterday we heard that Kendrys Morales may begin the year on the DL. Today Mike Scioscia elaborated on that, and it doesn’t sound good:
“It’s not a setback; there are just some plateaus guys hit,” said Scioscia. “You can’t force things. He’s going to keep working, keep moving forward.”
One thing that I wonder: how much of his “plateau” has to do with conditioning? I didn’t write about it when I was at Angels camp in Tempe, but Morales does look to be a tad roundish and out of shape. Which, on some level, is understandable given that his particular injury — his ankle — makes running and getting on an exercise bike troublesome. But it also can’t help a guy trying to work out at first base after so much time off.
Chris Young joined the Phillies as their assistant pitching coach last offseason. This offseason he’s getting a promotion: the Phillies just named as their main (um, top? lead? alpha?) pitching coach for the 2019 season. He replaces Rick Kranitz.
Ken Rosenthal, who reported the promotion, says that the Phillies didn’t necessarily want to shake up their pitching coach situation, but that since several clubs wanted to hire Young away, it was either promote him to the top job or lose him. That’s bad news for Kranitz, but he remains under contract for 2019 and will, in the meantime, be allowed to interview elsewhere.
The Phillies pitching staff ranked 11th in runs allowed in the National League in 2018. They were tenth the year before that, but some early season uncertainty and mismanagement by Gabe Kapler and a late season collapse served to hide what was, for most of the season, a bit of a better staff than the year before. The Phillies obviously credit Young for that and want to keep him in the fold.