Associated Press

Derek Lilliquist’s replacement knew he was getting job three days ago


This morning we noted that Nationals pitching coach Derek Lilliquist was fired after last night’s game. Today we learn that the Nationals, apparently, handled it poorly.

Jamal Collier of tweets from the press conference for Lilliquist’s replacement, Paul Menhart. Menhart says that he was told three days ago that he was getting the big league pitching coach job. Which means that Lilliquist was the Nats’ pitching coach, doing whatever it was a pitching coach does, for at least two or maybe three games, depending on what time of the day Menhart got the call that day. All the while the front office and, one assumes, manager Dave Martinez knew Liliquist was a dead man walking.

I have no opinion about Derek Liliquist’s firing for its own sake. The Nats pitching stunk and it’s pretty standard for a pitching coach to take the fall for that, deserved or not. But if what Menhart says is true and he and others had made the decision for him to replace Liliquist several days ago, that’s some serious garbage on the part of the Nats front office.

You don’t humiliate employees like that. There’s absolutely no excuse for it. If the decision was made to replace Liliquist a few days ago, the Nats brass either should’ve kept that decision to themselves or else made the move immediately and either went with an interim guy or gone without a pitching coach for a day or two in order to get people where they needed to be.

Dear lord.

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

Chris Sale
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Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.

Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.