Health and safety are the top concerns for Major League Baseball and the other leagues progressing towards a return during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams just recently set their roster pools, including the Phillies, ahead of the season that is set to start at the end of July.
As players and teams around the league prepare for a season without fans, organizations are also taking precautions with their staff that will be with them in the dugout during the shortened 2020 campaign. The virus has affected the older age group more than others, and one former Phillies pitching coach will be watching from home as his current team takes the field. Minnesota Twins bullpen coach, Bob McClure, will not work games this year according to the Star Tribune. McClure’s colleague, Bill Evers (68), will also be sidelined due to the pandemic. Twins minor league pitching coordinator Pete Maki will fill-in for McClure.
McClure, 66, spent four seasons (2014-2017) with the Phillies, originally hired when Ryne Sandberg served as skipper. His departure was not a surprise, and frankly overdue, given the pitching staff’s performance during his tenure. In the four years McClure spent with the Phils, the team ranked 25th in ERA (4.42), 24th in WHIP (1.37) and 18th in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Twins hired McClure in November to be their bullpen coach after he served as a senior adviser to pitching development for two seasons. McClure will remain on the Twins payroll and could contribute in an advisory capacity.
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