Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE
The Red Sox have reportedly ended their search for their next pitching coach, settling on Chicago's bullpen coach
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman is reporting (and Alex Speier has confirmed) that the Red Sox have made their decision on a pitching coach, and it's Juan Nieves. He was one of the only two confirmed interviews that Boston conducted in their search, the other being Rick Peterson, who was reportedly manager John Farrell's preference. Apparently, though, either that report was premature or inaccurate, or Farrell also liked what he heard from Nieves in his interview, as did the rest of the decision makers in the organization. (And they heard quite a bit, as Nieves reportedly interviewed with Boston for seven hours.)
Nieves was the bullpen coach for the Chicago White Sox, starting the job in 2008 under then-manager Ozzie Guillen. Before that, he was a pitching coach in the minors for the White Sox, from 1999 through 2007. This occurred immediately after the end of Nieves' career as a player, as his last season of professional ball came in the indy leagues in 1998, following a seven-season career split between the minors and majors. A career hampered, and ended in the majors by, an arm injury.
Before his career-ended, Nieves became the second-youngest pitcher in history to throw a no-hitter, the first Puerto Rican to pull off the feat, and also the first (and still only) Milwaukee Brewer with that particular notch on his belt.
The 47-year-old will have his first-ever major-league pitching coach job with the Red Sox, joining not just Farrell, but also new coaches Torey Lovullo and Brian Butterfield as well. Nieves is the first of the new coaches to come from somewhere besides the Blue Jays' 2012 coaching staff, as well.
The Red Sox pitching staff has worked with four different pitching coaches since the 2010 season, including Farrell. Last year, while Randy Niemann and Bob McClure seemed to reach some of the staff, the rotation was in disarray, with Clay Buchholz taking forever to shake the rust off, and Jon Lester spending two-thirds of the season in a mechanical downward spiral. Nieves has a tall task ahead of him, but the Red Sox think he's the man for that job.