Tigers’ prospect Andy Oliver has start pushed back after playing with slingshot

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We’ve heard some weird injuries over the years, but this one is up there.

According to Jason Beck of MLB.com, Tigers’ prospect left-hander Andy Oliver had his Friday start with Triple-A Toledo pushed back after playing with a slingshot on Thursday. I’m not kidding.

No, he wasn’t grounded or anything, but his hand apparently became sore after he used muscles that he doesn’t normally use.

Here’s the word from Triple-A Toledo manager Phil Nevin.

“I think he realizes the ramifications of missing today’s start,” Nevin said. “But it’s part of growing up and realizing priorities. We’re not angry with him or anything like that. It’s not a huge deal.”

Oliver, 23, has a 3.64 ERA and 31/12 K/BB ratio over his first five starts with the Mud Hens this season. Assuming he doesn’t break Mr. Wilson’s window again, he could eventually be a consideration to replace the struggling Phil Coke in the Tigers’ starting rotation.

Phillies promote Chris Young to pitching coach position

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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.