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Rick Honeycutt unlikely to come back as Dodgers pitching coach

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It’s kind of messed up that, on the eve of the Dodgers playing in an elimination World Series game, chatter about possibly coaching staff changes are filtering out of L.A., but I suppose the news and gossip doesn’t stop for anything.

This news and gossip: Dodgers longtime pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt, seems unlikely to come back for next season. Here’s Robert Murray of FanRag Sports:

There is increasing chatter that pitching coach Rick Honeycutt will not return to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2018 season, league sources tell FanRag Sports. His contract expires at the conclusion of the season . . . It’s likely that if Honeycutt does leave, the Dodgers look for someone who is more on page with the front office in regards to analytics.

As Murray notes, Honeycutt is very popular with Clayton Kershaw and other Dodgers pitchers. He’s held the job since 2006, which covers Kershaw’s entire major league career and spans the tenure of four Dodgers managers and two ownership groups. He’s well-regarded in the game, obviously.

No coaches last forever, though, so Honeycutt may be coaching his last game for the Dodgers tonight.

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.