The Boston Red Sox officially introduced Juan Nieves as their next pitching coach on Wednesday. Nieves will be leaving his position as the White Sox bullpen coach to join the Sox.
Last week a source told ESPNBoston.com that new manager John Farrell was “all in” to pick longtime pitching coach Rick Peterson as his choice. The Red Sox ended up picking Nieves, however. Nieves is a former major league pitcher who has spent the last five seasons with the White Sox. Before that, he was the pitching coach in the White Sox minor league system for nine seasons. Nieves also pitched three seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers starting in 1986 with a career record of 32-25 with a 4.71 ERA.
Farrell spoke on the choice saying, “His ability, his communication and my understanding of Juan and what’s important to him as a person, as much as a pitching coach, those were all factored into the ease of communication, which is going to be a major component once we get into in-game input that he’ll have in the dugout. I feel with our rapport and existing knowledge of guys on the pitching staff already, this is a very good fit and a very good tandem.”
Nieves agrees. “It’s an easy fit, first of all, because I’m only changing Sox,” he said. “It was a great fit knowing John from a long time in Puerto Rico and we actually played on the same team. We were able to talk a lot through the years.”
White Sox general manager Rick Hawn spoke highly of Nieves saying, “He never gives up on a guy. He’s willing to, if something’s not working, maybe try a different arm slot, arm angle or a different pitch. He’s tireless trying to get the best out of a guy.”
Hopefully Nieves can help get the best out of the Red Sox this upcoming season to pull them from their horrific slump.