By the time Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has left the dugout behind to make a move to the bullpen, he has already sifted through a stack of cards with influential statistics – left vs. right splits, groundball vs. strikeout rates, and much more – and heard what other data might be useful from the dugout iPad. He and the pitching coach have audited before the game who is healthy and available and for how long. He and the bench coach have talked through strategies and matchups, ideally an inning or more before a move has to be made. “Who is seeing what? How are they seeing it? And what can they give me?” Matheny said. “Between the conversations and the (numbers), I want to know, for example, what’s our best chance for a strikeout the third time through the order against this particular hitter with this pitcher compared to this other pitcher? Because the pitching coach and I need to get someone going. Get his opinion, and then I make the decision.” That opinion will be coming from someone new in 2018. The Cardinals notified longtime pitching coach Derek Lilliquist and bullpen coach Blaise Ilsley that their contracts would not be renewed for next season. Lilliquist’s two-year deal was set to expire, and he had hoped to stay. The Cardinals’ decision, announced Tuesday by president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, signals a change in how the Cardinals want to manage the pitching staff. In addition to reshaping their relief corps with a new addition (or two), the Cardinals want to veer toward a more modern approach to starter usage and bullpen deployment.
Lilliquist out as Cards seek pitching coach with 'modern' focus
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Oct 5