Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Butcher

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The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that they have fired pitching coach Mike Butcher. Well, they have “parted ways” with him, anyway, which could mean that his contract is simply up and isn’t being renewed. Either way: Arizona will have a new pitching coach next season.

Butcher had been the Snakes’ pitching coach for the last four seasons. This year the club ranked 12th in the majors with a 4.25 ERA, with neither their starters nor their relievers constituting major outliers in either direction. They were fourth overall on that category last year, however and third in 2017 so I suppose the trend isn’t great. Counterpoint: they were dead last in Butcher’s first year. I guess he was a genius until he wasn’t. Or maybe losing Patrick Corbin to free agency and trading away Zack Greinke hurts your pitching staff.

Such is the life of a pitching coach. A guy who is rarely credited as much for his successes as he is blamed for his failures. And, sometimes, especially when the guy was originally hired when there was a different manager in the dugout, communication issues or philosophical differences trump results. It’s a tough gig.

The Dbacks are retaining all of their other coaches.

Phils’ Hoskins tears knee, expected to miss significant time

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CLEARWATER, Fla. — Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins needs surgery for a torn ACL after injuring his left knee Thursday fielding a grounder in a spring training game and is expected to miss a significant amount of time.

The Phillies did not say when Hoskins would have the surgery or exactly how long the slugging first baseman might be sidelined.

Hoskins hit 30 homers with 79 RBIs last season for the reigning National League champions.

He was backing up to play a chopper on Thursday when the ball popped out of his glove. Sooner after, he fell to the ground and began clutching his left knee. Teammates gathered around him before he was taken off of the field.

Hoskins, a free agent at the end of the season who turned 30 last week, hit six homers in Philadelphia’s playoff run last season. The Phillies lost to the Houston Astros in the World Series.

The injury was another blow for the Phillies, who will be without top pitching prospect Andrew Painter for another few weeks because of a sprained ligament in his right elbow. And slugger Bryce Harper isn’t expected back until around the All-Star break after undergoing Tommy John surgery in November.