Good morning! We now live in a world where the Chicago Cubs are world champions of baseball.
In other news:
- As reported yesterday, Matt Stairs is the new hitting coach of the Phillies. He takes over for Steve Henderson, who was let go after this season.
Another in a long run of hiring “professional hitters,” though Stairs has a pretty deep resume. Whatever his stats, though, it’s about how he can teach a young group of players who ranked among the worst offenses in baseball in 2016. They hack, they’re impatient, and they don’t seem to adjust well. Stairs has a tall order ahead of him, but it seems he’s a decent fit to give it a go.
- Meanwhile, Matt Breen of the Inquirer has an interview with Stairs.
Interesting things here, especially the remark about finding those who want to be aggressive, first-pitch fastball hitters. Yes, this was a hypothetical in a round of questioning, so let’s not get crazy here, but just to ask … do the Phillies need aggressive first-pitch fastball hitters? According to Fangraphs, the Phils had a -30.8 wFB (a measure of runs by pitch … as in, the Phils performed 30 runs below average on fastballs. So wouldn’t we rather see a more patient team that can identify fastballs to hit?
Let’s not question further for now.
- As for Stairs’ position in the broadcast booth – there have been murmurs of John Kruk stepping in. But nothing more than the initial reports.
- Finally, Joe Longo, who represents Aaron Nola, says his client is “100 percent healthy.” The right-hander suffered elbow-related injuries during the 2016 season, which shelved him for the remainder of play.
That’s good news, although we’ll need to see Nola pitch against actual players to know that he’s 100 percent healthy. But hey, this is a good start.