May 7, 2015

Red Sox Fire Pitching Coach Juan Nieves

The Red Sox have fired pitching coach Juan Nieves. GM Ben Cherington said the team needed a "different voice".

The Red Sox's pitching staff has a 4.86 ERA, the highest in the American League and 29th worst in MLB. ... The starters' ERA is 5.54.

A replacement has not been named.

Reading through the SoSH thread, many media members are seeing Nieves as a scapegoat.
Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
#RedSox announce firing of pitching coach Juan Nieves. Suggestion: Find better pitchers.

Pete Abraham ‏@PeteAbe
#RedSox fired pitching coach Juan Nieves, team announces. There’s one fall guy.

Jason Mastrodonato ‏@JMastrodonato
Juan Nieves, the fall guy? Red Sox have fired their pitching coach.

Dan Sostek ‏@dan_sostek
Scapegoating Juan Nieves for the staff's issues is pretty ridiculous. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

Maureen Mullen ‏@MaureenaMullen
Can't fire a pitching staff so Red Sox fire pitching coach Juan Nieves instead.
Earlier this week, on May 3, Ryan Hannable ‏tweeted:
Farrell indicated he's maybe done more 1-on-1 work with the pitchers than he's done in the past given the early season struggles.


allan said...

Maureen Mullen ‏@MaureenaMullen:
Farrell: not sure "connection was made with current group" of starting pitchers by Nieves

Rob Bradford ‏@bradfo:
Cherington: 'Nothing happened specifically recently that precipitated this' (in regards to Nieves dismissal)

allan said...

Rob Bradford ‏@bradfo:
"Perceived inability by Nieves to get through to current group of starters like he had with previous rotations seems biggest issue"

allan said...

Tim Britton ‏@TimBritton:
"Farrell: "The biggest thing is the [next] pitching coach has to have the ability to connect and adjust.""

Scott Lauber ‏@ScottLauber:
"Farrell on Nieves: "The ability to affect change when needed or adjustments required, that wasn't the same as we saw two years ago.""

allan said...

"John and I simply got to the point where we felt that, in order to continue to push forward and make improvements, we needed to make a change and have a different voice in that particular position."

Jere said...

"Maureen Mullen ‏@MaureenaMullen
Can't fire a pitching staff"

Is she aware that we pretty much just did this?

Maxwell Horse said...

A lot of these tweets are completely lazy on a Dennis and Callahan level. It's right up there with, "The front office doesn't care about winning! They just want to sell bricks!"

It's a heck of a presumption that Nieves is simply being fired to be the "fall guy." That would mean that after his firing everyone pats themselves on the back for cleverly throwing the hounds of their trails, and have absolutely no plans to address the pitching problems beyond the firing of Nieves. I don't think that's going to happen.

Isn't it possible that they saw many problems with the pitching staff, AND that Nieves wasn't maximizing their potential? Isn't it possible for both things to be true at the same time? Of course we are a society that doesn't do well with nuance. There has to be black and white good guys/bad guys in every situation.

Even if we go with the assumption that Nieves had nothing to do with their poor performance and that pitchers can only perform to their level, doesn't that cut both ways? Doesn't that also mean that he's basically extraneous and serves no real function?