The Houston Astros have just announced the firing of pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, who will be replaced on an interim basis by former Major Leaguer Doug Brocail. Arnsberg is familiar with Blue Jays fans for his time in Toronto, in which he gained a reputation for his work with A.J. Burnet, which began during their time together in Florida.
However, there were rumours of a power struggle taking place shortly after Cito Gaston came aboard as manager. Between these rumours, consistent rumblings that Arnsberg played favourites (tending to spend more time with the established starters than some of the younger pitchers) and a string of injuries to pitchers in the rotation (inspiring Keith Law to quip that you would know Arnsberg by trail of dead arms), Arnsberg took the position in Houston during the offseason following Gaston’s hiring.
Officially, the firing was due to philosophical differences, but the Astros have the second highest ERA and the third highest FIP in the entire league. The pitching staff’s 1.4 total WAR is the lowest for any staff in baseball, while their starters have given up more home runs per nine innings than any other.
It’s pure speculation on my part, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the New York Yankees were to give Arnsberg a call to perhaps work with A.J. Burnett a little bit. The pair have been effective together in the past.