Zach Britton struggled in the second half last season, including an August stint on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, and Jim Duquette of MLB.com reports that the 24-year-old left-hander’s injury “is still lingering” and his “workload will be limited in spring training.”
Britton had a 3.38 ERA in 16 starts through the end of June and then posted a 6.79 ERA in 12 starts after July 1, finishing with a 4.61 ERA and 97/62 K/BB ratio in 154 innings overall.
If healthy his spot in the rotation won’t be in question, but when shoulder problems from August remain in February that isn’t very encouraging for a young pitcher.
Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that former Yankees manager Joe Girardi took himself out of the running for the Reds’ and Rangers’ managerial openings. The “industry speculation” is that Girardi is waiting a year for a potential opening to manage the Cubs.
Current Cubs manager Joe Maddon has one more year left on his contract. While the Cubs have played quite well under his tenure, the front office and Maddon haven’t had any discussions about an extension, which means 2019 might be his final year with the club. Under Maddon’s leadership since 2015, the Cubs won the championship in 2016 and compiled a 387-261 (.597) record during the regular season.
Girardi, 54, spent his first four seasons in the majors with the Cubs and another three towards the end of his career. He managed the Marlins for one year in 2006, then managed the Yankees from 2008-17, leading them to a World Series in ’09 and an overall regular season record of 910-710 (.562).