We still don’t know the fate of Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, but we do know the fate of Chris Young, who will not return as the team’s pitching coach next season:
Sources: Chris Young will not return next season as #Phillies pitching coach. Unlcear if he will remain with the organization.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) October 4, 2019
The decision to move on from Young hardly comes as a surprise after former hitting coach John Mallee was dismissed back in August. It has been speculated that move came at the behest of frustrated owner John Middleton.
One could argue that the team’s pitching staff was an even bigger disappointment than the offense in Young’s first season in the position as several of the Phillies’ young arms failed to progress the way the team hoped.
In fact, if one did argue that, one would win. The pitching was abysmal.
While the team dealt with injuries to Jake Arrieta and multiple key bullpen pieces, Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta, and Vince Velasquez were each bumped from the rotation at different points throughout the season, while staff ace Aaron Nola also took a step backward.
The Phillies’ 4.53 staff ERA was 17th in baseball and their 4.88 FIP was 23rd. They also regressed in several key statistical categories across the board.
Keeping the ball in the yard was particularly problematic for Phillies pitchers. They combined to allow a franchise record 258 homers this season. Only the Rockies (1.68 HR/9) coughed up homers at a more frequent rate among NL teams this season.
As for the architect that helped build said disappointing pitching staff, The Inquirer’s Matt Breen reports general manager Matt Klentak will indeed be back:
Can confirm @ToddZolecki's report that Chris Young will not return in 2020 as Phillies pitching coach. A decision on Gabe Kapler is expected next week, but a source said that general manager Matt Klentak's status for 2020 was never in question.
— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) October 4, 2019