Derek Johnson leaves Cubs to become Brewers pitching coach

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Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that the Brewers have hired Cubs minor-league pitching coordinator Derek Johnson as their new pitching coach, replacing Rick Kranitz who was fired three weeks ago.

Johnson has been the Cubs’ minor-league pitching coordinator since 2013 and before that spent more than a decade as the pitching coach for Vanderbilt University.

Milwaukee’s new front office regime decided to keep manager Craig Counsell, but fired most of his coaching staff. Johnson has a difficult task in front of him, as the Brewers ranked 11th and 10th among NL teams in runs allowed during the past two seasons.

Mets sign Matt Kemp to minor league deal

Matt Kemp
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The Mets have had a lot of injuries in their outfield. How many? So many that they’re bringing in Matt Kemp, who they just signed on a minor league deal. Hey, why not? He’s functionally free.

Kemp was released by the Reds earlier this month after batting just .200/.210/.283 over 62 plate appearances. While he was a pretty useful player for the first half of the 2018 season for the Dodgers, the odds of him making major contributions to the Mets this year are probably about the same odds there were on Adrián González making an impact when the Mets signed him last year. But again: what’s the harm?