Every year something happens in the offseason that makes me think that I can’t handle the looniness anymore. That the hot stove season has reached its nadir. After which I say that I cannot handle another weird rumor or report. When I say “not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!”
That usually happens in mid-January. This year it happened on November 16, in a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:
Sideny Ponson. Who hasn’t pitched since 2009 and hasn’t pitched well since 2003. I’m going to assume for the sake of my sanity that the A’s official in question is the brother-in-law or college roommate of Ponson’s agent and that the meeting was a social affair.
If not, I’ll be in the bar. Until mid-February.
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.