MLB restores Mike Trout’s rookie status

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Cliff Corcoran from SI.com notes that MLB has decided Mike Trout will be Rookie of the Year eligible in 2012 despite having apparently lost his rookie status due to a technicality.

As the Orange County Register’s Sam Miller originally pointed out last month, Trout was technically credited with 55 non-September days on the Angels’ active roster last season, eclipsing the rookie limit of 45. However, in actuality, Trout was on the roster for just 38 of those days, with the remaining 17 coming because of service time he was credited with after a short-term demotion to Triple-A.

MLB apparently has cleaned up that technicality now. While Trout will still have 55 days of service time for accounting purposes, only the time he spent on the active roster will count against his rookie status. He’ll be one of the AL’s ROY favorites next season, even if he opens the year in Triple-A as currently planned.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.