Sources: Chris Young out as Phillies pitching coach

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Sources: Chris Young out as Phillies pitching coach

In an expected move, Chris Young is out as Phillies pitching coach, according to sources.

Young spent one season in the role. A year ago at this time, he was elevated from assistant pitching coach to pitching coach, replacing the well-liked Rick Kranitz.

Kranitz was pushed out by manager Gabe Kapler and GM Matt Klentak. The move was made because Young was proficient in the use of data and analytics in building a pitching staff and game-planning. But Young’s methods were never fully embraced by the pitching staff and the popular Kranitz is in the postseason as pitching coach of the National League East champion Atlanta Braves.

It is believed that Young's contract was reworked into a two-year deal when he took over as pitching coach. He could be reassigned to a different role in the organization that suits his strengths of interpreting data and analytics and using them to formulate plans of attack for pitchers.

Resolution on Kapler's fate as Phillies manager is unlikely to come until next week.

The Phillies' team ERA rose from 4.15 in 2018 to 4.53 in 2019. It closely mirrored the leaguewide rise in ERA from 4.14 to 4.49. 

The Phillies simply didn't see enough improvement from their pitchers this past season. They used 31 pitchers (excluding position players), with only Hector Neris, Ranger Suarez and Zach Eflin pitching more effectively than they did a year ago as Phillies. Eflin was an interesting case in particular — he started the year strong before encountering midseason struggles and going back to favoring his sinker over the four-seam fastball. The Phillies wanted their pitchers to attack more with high heaters and the results never came.

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MLB trade deadline: Phillies acquire Corey Dickerson from Pirates

MLB trade deadline: Phillies acquire Corey Dickerson from Pirates

Update: 3:44 p.m.

The Phillies agreed to a deal with the Pirates shortly before Wednesday's trade deadline to acquire corner outfielder Corey Dickerson, a legitimately good hitter who will help their lineup and will help their bench. The Phillies will send international signing money and a player to be named later to Pittsburgh.

To make room for Dickerson on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated Dylan Cozens for assignment.

Dickerson, 30, was hitting .317 with a .931 OPS for the Pirates. He had 18 doubles and four homers in just 141 plate appearances.

A left-handed hitter, Dickerson has hit .293 the last three seasons with an .823 OPS. He spent much of this season on the injured list, sidelined by a right shoulder issue.

He's been on fire in the month of July, hitting .328 with a .391 OBP. He's a left-handed hitter who does most of his damage against righties, but 70 percent of starting pitchers are righties so that is the preferable platoon split to have.

Over the last two seasons, Dickerson has slugged .519 against righties, more than 30 points higher than Bryce Harper. His .303 battting average against righties since the start of 2018 is fourth-best in the majors among lefties, behind only Christian Yelich, Michael Brantley and Freddie Freeman.

Dickerson will fit well into the 5- or 6-spot in the Phillies' lineup while Jay Bruce recovers from an oblique strain, and once Bruce returns, either he or Dickerson would become the top bat off the bench. Dickerson is the better and more well-rounded hitter. Regardless of which left-handed hitting corner outfielder sees more reps, it will be an overall improvement to the Phillies' offense. Dickerson could also hit first or second for the Phillies.

The Phillies figure to move Scott Kingery to third base, play Adam Haseley in center field and Dickerson in left and off the bench. Maikel Franco would likely be the odd man out and serve as more of a pinch-hitter.

Dickerson is owed just under $3 million the rest of this season before becoming a free agent.

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How badly is Andrew McCutchen hurt? Phillies hold their breath awaiting MRI

How badly is Andrew McCutchen hurt? Phillies hold their breath awaiting MRI

SAN DIEGO — The reeling Phillies may have lost more than their fifth straight game Monday night.

Andrew McCutchen, the team’s valuable leadoff man, went down with a left knee sprain on a base-running play in the first inning of the team’s 8-2 loss to the San Diego Padres.

Some three hours later, McCutchen stood in front of his locker in the visiting clubhouse at Petco Park and leaned on a single crutch.

Speaking softly, McCutchen said he was not worried about his condition.

“I have no clue,” he said when asked if he believed he would require a trip to the injured list. “I could wake up tomorrow and feel better.

“The mobility is there, but it is sore. I’m not going to lie.”

Moments after speaking with reporters and saying he was not worried, McCutchen tweeted the following:

“Pray for me. Please.”

A better read on McCutchen’s condition will come on Tuesday when he has an MRI. He said he had an ACL injury in high school and this did not compare in the level of discomfort. He said he felt no pop.

"If it was blown out they would have been like, 'Hey, your knee is torn,'" McCutchen said. "I didn’t get that information. They’re not certain with whatever they feel because everything feels good, but they’d rather me go in to get the MRI just to see if there’s something more."

The Phillies have made contingency plans for the possibility of McCutchen going on the injured list. Outfielder Adam Haseley, the team’s first-round pick in 2017, is on his way to the West Coast just in case McCutchen goes on the injured list. Even if the Phils receive good news and learn that the injury is minor, it’s likely that McCutchen will require a trip to the IL. He does, after all, have at least a sprained knee. With McCutchen hurting, the Phillies are thin at center field. Manager Gabe Kapler said he'd have no hesitation in using Haseley, who has played just six games above the Double A level. 

Kapler was not in a good mood after the game. Frankly, he had a lot to be pissed-off about.

His team’s trip to Southern California has so far been disastrous with four losses in as many days. His team’s lead on Atlanta for first place in the NL East is down to a half-game. His team has scored just eight runs in the last four games. His team has hit just .168 (21 for 125) over the last four games. His ace, Aaron Nola, got rocked for six runs in 5⅓ innings Monday night. Manny Machado, a guy he tried to help recruit to Philadelphia over the winter, belted an in-your-face grand slam. And he may have lost his leadoff man on a play that might have been avoidable.

McCutchen led off the game with a walk. The next batter, Jean Segura, popped up to second base. Segura slipped in the batter’s box then did not run hard down the first base line. Ian Kinsler, the Padres’ alert second baseman, noticed Segura’s lack of hustle, let the pop up fall in and proceeded to start a double play.

McCutchen, who anchored himself at first on the pop up, tried to go to second when the ball dropped. He eventually got in a rundown and fell to the ground and grabbed his knee trying to get back to first base.

None of this might have happened if Segura had regained his footing in the batter’s box and busted it down the line.

“Jean and I discussed it after the game,” Kapler said. “He did slip out of the batter's box. He didn't run his hardest out of the batter's box. He owned that. He was an absolute professional about it. He didn't make any excuses for it. He says it won't happen again.”

Segura didn’t hide from his mistake.

“No excuse, not acceptable,” he said.

He admitted to being frustrated by popping up.

“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “I popped up. I don’t have any excuse. I slipped at home plate. I have to get up and run the bases. I need to do a better job.

“I don’t think the injury came because of that. It’s part of the game. As a human and a grown man, I know I made a mistake not running the bases.”

McCutchen spoke with Segura after the game. Everything was good between them.

“I was replaying it in my head and just thinking about what I could have done different,” McCutchen said. “I always think about that stuff. I didn’t know Jean wasn’t close (to first base). Had I known he wasn’t close, I would have stayed on the bag and stood there. I didn’t know. It was kind of like the golden retriever going after a stick. The ball drops and I’m going. Replay it, you should have did this or that.

“At the end, it happened the way it happened and now here we are.”

Yep. Here the Phillies are, losers of a season-high five straight and holding their breath that their leadoff man is not hurt seriously.

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