This offseason Vinnie Pestano lost his arbitration case to the Indians and then he got demoted to Triple-A in mid-April after just three appearances, but the once-elite setup man has now been called back up to Cleveland.
Pestano earned the promotion by posting a 1.78 ERA and 32/7 K/BB ratio in 25 innings at Triple-A, where he looked very much like the guy who had a 2.82 ERA and 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings for the Indians from 2010-2013.
Prior to the demotion Pestano’s fastball velocity was way down into the high-80s and he battled elbow problems in 2013, so that’ll be something to keep an eye on as he tries to reestablish himself as a late-inning bullpen option for the Indians.
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.