The Phillies have parted ways with pitching coach Rich Dubee, a move that does not come as a surprise given the change at manager. Like most managers, Ryne Sandberg will want to pick his own top lieutenants, although the decision not to renew Dubee's contract is the only change the Phillies have announced at this point.
Dubee just completed his ninth season as the Phillies' pitching coach. It was his 12th year in the organization. The Phillies were disappointed with the performance of their pitching staff this season, particularly with regard to some of the younger arms they were counting on to step up in relief roles. In August, the Phillies informed longtime minor league pitching coordinator Gorman Heimueller that they would not be renewing his contract for 2014. The young arms did make some strides in the second half of the season, with lefty Jake Diekman and righty Ethan Martin both showing promise in relief roles.
The new pitching coach will inherit plenty of uncertainty on his staff. Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are the only definites for the rotation this year, although the Phillies are hopeful that Cuban signee Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez will win a spot in the rotation. Righthander Kyle Kendrick faces an uncertain future heading into his final year of arbitration after some epic struggles over the last three months of the season. Closer Jonathan Papelbon's save percentage and ERA were at his career norms, but his velocity and strikeout rate have dopped, raising some concerns for a player who still has two years and a vesting option remaining on the deal he signed prior to the 2012 season.