Former White Sox pitcher Farquhar backs up claims of sign-stealing by Astros
Already reeling from losing the World Series to the Washington Nationals despite being heavily favored and firing assistant Mike Taubman for his outburst against three female reporters before Game 3, the Houston Astros are under fire yet again.
Former White Sox reliever and current minor-league pitching coach Danny Farquhar is involved in the middle of the latest controversy coming out of Houston.
After The Athletic reported the Astros stole signs at home games during the 2017 season by using a camera positioned in center field, Major League Baseball said it will investigate the charge.
According to the report, the camera at Minute Maid Park in Houston was connected to a TV monitor located in the tunnel between the Astros' dugout and clubhouse.
Team employees and players would signal off-speed pitches to Astros hitters by banging a trash can.
Pitching for the Sox at Houston in 2017, Farquhar told The Athletic he heard "a banging from the dugout, almost like a bat hitting the bat rack every time a changeup signal got put down."
Farquhar also said once the White Sox got wise and changed their signals, "the banging stopped."
Back with the Sox in 2018, Farquhar suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm after pitching two-thirds of an inning against the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field.
He never pitched again in 2018, but Farquhar signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees last season. He was released in June after pitching 3 innings for Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and allowing 7 runs in 3 innings.
Coolbaugh joins White Sox:
Scott Coolbaugh was hired as the Sox's assistant hitting coach on Tuesday. He replaces Greg Sparks, who was relieved of his duties after the season.
Hitting coach Todd Steverson was also cut loose, and he was replaced by Frank Menechino on Oct. 10.
Coolbaugh, 53, was hitting coach for Class AAA Oklahoma City in the Dodgers' organization last season. He helped develop infielder Gavin Lux, who edged White Sox center fielder Luis Robert as Baseball America's 2019 minor-league player of the year.
Coolbaugh was the hitting coach for the Baltimore Orioles from 2015-18 and with the Texas Rangers in 2011-12.
Coolbaugh also serves on the Board of Directors for Diamond Dreams, a nonprofit organization that honors the memory of his brother, Mike, by promoting safety in the game and providing support to members of the baseball community in need.
Mike Coolbaugh died while coaching first base for the minor-league Tulsa Drillers in July 2007 after being struck in the head by a foul line drive.
The Cubs and Reds will play a pair of exhibition games, on March 7-8, at the new Las Vegas Ballpark.