Struggling Astros fire pitching coach Arnsberg
Jun 14, 2011 at 1:53 AM
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros fired pitching coach Brad Arnsberg on Tuesday and replaced him on an interim basis with Doug Brocail, a former Astros pitcher.The Astros, who have the worst record in baseball at 25-42, cited philosophical differences in announcing the change.Arnsberg was hired as Houston's pitching coach in October of 2009. Houston's pitchers have the second highest ERA in the National League this season with 4.69 and have allowed an NL-leading 78 homers.Brocail pitched for 15 seasons, including four in Houston and has been working as a special assistant to Astros' general manager Ed Wade.Houston ace Brett Myers, who credited Arnsberg for helping him turn things around last season, has struggled lately and his ERA has climbed to 5.03. He is 2-6 and has given up a team-leading 18 homers.Lefty J.A. Happ is 3-8 with a 5.04 ERA and hasn't won since May 14. Rookie Aneury Rodriguez went 0-4 with a 5.96 ERA in eight starts before being sent back to the bullpen when Wandy Rodriguez came off the disabled list last weekend.Bud Norris has been one of the bright spots of Houston's rotation and is 4-4 with a 3.67 ERA entering Tuesday's start against the Pirates. He turned in the Astros' best pitching performance of the season when he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his last start.Wandy Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings in his return from the disabled list on Monday night and the Astros are hoping his return will be a boost to their rotation.It isn't only the starters who have had problems this season and Houston has seen three straight tough outings by former closer Brandon Lyon since he returned from the disabled list last week. He has given up a home run in each of his last three appearances and his ERA is 11.48.Brocail, who had two stints with the Astros, also pitched for the Padres, Tigers and Rangers. He retired after appearing in 20 games for the Astros in 2009.Since his retirement, the 44-year-old has evaluated players in Houston's system and handled some major league scouting assignments.