Brandon McCarthy rejoining A’s after six weeks on DL

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One of the many remarkable things about the A’s rise to playoff contention is that they’ve done most of their winning without Brandon McCarthy, who’s been on the disabled list since mid-June with a shoulder injury.

Before going on the DL he was Oakland’s staff ace, throwing 78 innings with a 2.54 ERA and 52/19 K/BB ratio after doing similarly impressive work last year with a 3.32 ERA in 171 frames.

McCarthy missing big chunks of time with injuries is standard operating procedure, but he’s due back from the DL for tonight’s game against the White Sox. He reported no problems after a bullpen session earlier this week and tossed six shutout innings in his most recent rehab start.

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.