Fired by Astros, Brad Mills expected to join Terry Francona’s staff in Cleveland

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Brad Mills, who was fired by Houston in August after two-plus seasons as manager, is expected to join Terry Francona’s new coaching staff in Cleveland, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Mills was the Red Sox’s bench coach for six seasons under Francona before being hired as the Astros’ manager and their relationship dates back to being college teammates at Arizona.

Sandy Alomar, who interviewed to be the Indians’ manager before losing the job to Francona, is also expected to be on the coaching staff. However, the Indians have let go hitting coach Bruce Fields and third base coach Steve Smith.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.