Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan taking leave of absence

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According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan is taking a leave of absence from the team to be with his wife, who underwent surgery in August of last year to remove a brain tumor.

“As far as how long he’ll be gone, no one knows,” Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said Thursday night.

The Cardinals’ front office is expected to make a formal announcement on Friday morning, with more details on the matter and perhaps some news about a temporary replacement.

Duncan is widely regarded as the best pitching coach in Major League Baseball. He worked alongside recently-retired manager Tony La Russa for 28 seasons with three different organizations.

UPDATE, 9:24 PM: Two St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporters, Joe Strauss and Bernie Miklasz, are hearing that Duncan is stepping down from his job for good, not taking a leave of absence.

UPDATE, 9:29 PM: Miklasz says Duncan “will remain linked to the organization in another capacity,” and that bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist is expected to be promoted to the role of pitching coach.

UPDATE, 9:44 PM: According to MLB.com’s Matthew Leach, it is indeed being termed as a “leave of absence” by the Cardinals, who have released a short statement:

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Indians sign Marc Rzepczynski

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The Cleveland Indians announced this afternoon that they have signed reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus.

Rzepczynski was released by the Mariners earlier this month after 18 games in which he allowed nine runs in seven and two-thirds innings. A lot of that damage came at the hands of right-handed hitters, which he probably shouldn’t be facing, so maybe Terry Francona will get some better luck by deploying him a bit more judiciously.

He’s still being paid by the Mariners for the final few months of the two-year, $11 million deal he signed before the 2017 season, so it’s worth it for the Indians to try and see if they can get anything out of him.