In a pretty unexpected move, St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan has reportedly decided to step down from his current role with the team, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Duncan has been the pitching coach in St. Louis since 1995, and is generally considered to be one of the best coaches in the entire sport.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Duncan is leaving the team to spend time with his wife, Jeanne, who underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor on Aug. 21 of last year. The Cardinals are unsure of how long Duncan's absence will last, adding more uncertainty to a coaching staff that's already headed by newly minted manager Mike Matheny.
A formal announcement of Duncan's departure from the team will be announced by the Cardinals on Friday, and they intend to leave open the possibility for his return at some later date. Last season when Duncan missed time to be with his wife after the surgery, bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist filled the role of pitching coach. It's unclear at this point whether Matheny will opt to go that route again.