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Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage expects to be fired

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After the Pirates fired manager Clint Hurdle on Sunday, the final day of the regular season, pitching coach Ray Searage said he also expects to be fired, per The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel. Searage said, “They told us they would let us know in the next couple of days. Now, bringing in a new manager could mean bringing in different personnel, anyway. I’m preparing myself not to be a Pittsburgh Pirate next year.”

Searage, 64, has been the Pirates’ pitching coach since 2010. He has been credited with helping some pitchers turn around their careers, such as Edinson Vólquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. He hasn’t gotten as much credit in recent years as the Pirates haven’t gotten as much out of their pitchers. They have even watched some of their former pitchers, such as Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow, go on to reach greater heights with new teams.

As Searage notes, incoming managers are usually afforded the privilege of choosing their coaching staff members. It may be possible that the new manager wants to keep Searage around, but he is right to set his expectations for a new team in 2020.

Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife gives birth

Zack Wheeler miss starts
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Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.

Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”

Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.

The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.