The Red Sox have announced that Brian Bannister will remain in a role focused on the major league pitching staff rather than player development, and have made a slew of new VP appointments in the same breath.
It’s not all that surprising that the Red Sox want to keep Bannister up in the big leagues. While correlation does not imply causation, it has to be acknowledged that Boston’s pitching woes did seem to start vanishing around the time Bannister was added to the coaching staff in July. He’s been given the positions “VP of pitching development” and “assistant pitching coach,” but that’s just putting fancy titles on what he’d already been doing with the team.
Speaking of fancy names, Jared Banner, Zack Scott, Ben Crockett, Mike Rikard and Gus Quattlebaum each got their own. VPs of player personnel, baseball research and development, player development, amateur scouting, and pro scouting respectively.
That’s a lot of internal promoting for a team that just lost some big names. There’s no general manager, as Dombrowski has decided to forego the position entirely given that he assumed most of the role’s traditional duties when he took over as the president of baseball operations. One imagines much of the duties that Mike Hazen handled before taking the Diamondbacks job will be split up among this new group of VPs.
If nothing else, it’s good to see some continuity within the organization. Yes, the Red Sox will miss Mike Hazen and Amiel Sawdaye, but at least the people taking their place are those who worked under and hopefully learned from them. While there’s certainly been bumps in the road, you can still largely trace the roots of this organization through the three World Series titles they’ve claimed in the past 12 years up to the present, where they’re fresh off a division win with one of the best farm systems in the game. The Sox can’t stop faces from coming and going, but they can at least keep the through-line of success alive.