Josh Beckett cleared to start Thursday versus Indians

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Josh Beckett skipped his scheduled Saturday start because of a sore lat muscle and Aaron Cook had a disastrous outing in his place, but Beckett avoided the disabled list and has been cleared to rejoin the rotation Thursday versus the Indians.

Beckett told Ian Browne of MLB.com that he won’t have any pitch count restrictions after missing just one turn in the rotation and he’d thrown 126, 100, and 110 pitches in his previous three outings.

Since an ugly season debut versus the Tigers on April 7 in which he served up five homers Beckett has started four games with a 2.93 ERA and 21/8 K/BB ratio in 28 innings.

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.