Looks like the Sox have made their pick. Juan Nieves has been hired as the pitching coach. He has been the bullpen coach for the White Sox for the past five years.
Nieves won’t be thrown by the change in scenery.
“It won’t take me that long to get used to it,” Nieves told WEEI.com. “It’s an easy transition because I will just be changing Sox, and of course, I go to a beautiful baseball city as well.”
A baseball source last week told ESPNBoston.com that new manager John Farrell was “all in” on longtime pitching coach Rick Peterson as his choice for the job, and he was considered the front-runner, but the Red Sox instead are choosing the 47-year-old Nieves for the position.
“It became very clear that Juan was not only a talented pitching coach, but one I feel very comfortable with in working with our pitching staff,” Farrell said in a release. “I have known him for many years, and I have a high level of comfort with his in-game communication.”
The Red Sox also interviewed Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire and Royals bullpen coach Steve Foster for the position.
Nieves realizes that Boston’s starting pitchers won’t have “a great year every year.”
“We’re trying to get them to be the best they can, be as consistent as possible,” he told WEEI.com. “They’ve had the worst years of their career; that’s going to happen. But they’re also going to have great years. Even good players fluctuate. You’re going to have some tough years, you’re going to have some great years. It’s how consistent you can be. That’s what we want to achieve and get them back to what they used to be.”
Nieves, a former major league pitcher, has spent the past five seasons as the White Sox’ bullpen coach. Nine seasons before that, he was a pitching coach in the White Sox’s minor league system.
The Puerto Rico native pitched three seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers (1986-88) and had a career record of 32-25 with a 4.71 ERA. He tossed the first no-hitter in Brewers history in 1987.
Nieves is no stranger to New England, having graduated high school from Avon Old Farms in Connecticut.