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Dave Duncan to be away from Cardinals for all of 2012; Derek Lilliquist named pitching coach

Jan 6, 2012, 4:36 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals Getty Images

UPDATE: General manager John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the Cardinals do not expect Duncan to return during the 2012 season, meaning Lilliquist will take over the job without an “interim” title.


Longtime pitching coach Dave Duncan is taking an extended leave of absence from the Cardinals to be with his wife, who’s recovering from the removal of a brain tumor, and today the team announced that Derek Lilliquist will replace him in the role.

Lilliquist had been the Cardinals’ bullpen coach and was the person at the other end of the phone when Tony La Russa’s instructions about which relievers to warm up were misunderstood in Game 5 of the World Series. Prior to that Lilliquist filled in for Duncan during his initial leave of absence last season.

St. Louis also announced that Dyer Miller will replace Lilliquist as bullpen coach after previously serving as the Cardinals’ minor league pitching coordinator.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    That’s going to be one odd-looking Cardinals dugout. Best of luck.

  2. 78mu - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    A no-brainer for the team since they trusted Lilliquist to take over last season when Duncan was out. It would have been nice for Duncan to be there to help Matheny but Lilliquist knows more than just how to answer the phone.

  3. The Baseball Idiot - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    LIlliquist and Matheny both learned from Duncan. There will be a lot of residual effect.

    Shouldn’t be much of a problem.

  4. ukcardsfan - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    The worst off season ever continues. That said though, who blames the man, in his shoes, who wouldn’t do the same? I wish the Duncan’s all the best. And if last season does in fact turn out to be Dave’s last – then I hope the organization continues to look after him as his work on that team was invaluable and he deserves no less.

    • paperlions - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      First, the offseason has been a good one for the Cardinals. The bolstered the OF and SS with reasonable short-term deals, didn’t give a dumb contract to Pujols, and no one has been injured, busted for PEDs, arrested, or anything else. Besides offering contracts to McClellan and Skip….I don’t have a problem with any of the decisions the FO has made.

      • paperlions - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:43 PM

        Second, Duncan doesn’t need “looking after”, he’s been paid millions of dollars….I’m sure the Cardinals care about him and his wife…but he can take care of himself.

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        ,,McClellan has been an effective reliever for St. Louis. Thrust into the starting role in 2011 he performed admirably until injury and arm stress first sidelined him, and then caused him to become ineffective.

        Sure, he struggled in the second half, but a return to the bull pen will more than likely see a revival of stuff he showed previously. He has great numbers against lefties, can pitch multiple innings if needed, and sure deserves a shot. If I had to choose between McClellan and Boggs, whose inconsistency haunts him, I would go with McClellan and move Boggs with either Lohse and/or Westbrook, sign Oswalt, and perhaps acquire a second baseman with speed, OBP, and defensive skills.

  5. baccards - Jan 7, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    I agree with paperlions on this one…a good off season … Pujols did what was best for him,StL did what was best for them…It was great seeing him play up close – he is one intense hitter- but others will come along…that’s the way it works As for Skip, well I’ve sort of thought well of him over the years, maybe not great (certainly!) but just something about his demeanor I least he is no Corey Patterson

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