Although we are still waiting for the Red Sox to make moves on the player side of things this winter, they have reportedly filled the most important remaining hole on their coaching staff. Rob Bradford is reporting that the Red Sox will indeed be hiring former Cubs third base coach Will Venable as the new bench coach to serve under Alex Cora. Jared Carrabis was the first to suggest the possibility.
Update: Per source, Will Venable will be the Red Sox bench coach https://t.co/3uwcYTvzTc— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) November 17, 2020
Venable should be a familiar name to most as he was one of the non-Cora candidates to get an interview for the managerial position. Obviously this did not work out, but he apparently did well enough in the interview, and the Red Sox made a strong enough impression on him, that they still want him to be a part of the coaching staff.
I’m still a bit surprised that they didn’t go with an internal candidate as I suggested they could after hiring Cora, but that is by no means a knock on Venable, who is one of the most respected young coaches in the league. He is seen by many as a future manager who will get his chance sooner than later, and getting this kind of experience should only help him on that quest.
It is also notable that they are going with someone like Venable who has minimal experience in a major-league dugout as a coach. In Cora’s first tenure he had brought Ron Roenicke in as his bench coach to provide more experience next to him as his number two. Things have obviously changed and Cora now has that experience and respect on his own, and is now almost flipping roles and presumably will serve as something of a coaching mentor for Venable.
The move is not official as of yet, but the expectation seems to be that the announcement will be made at some point before the end of the week. We’ll provide an update in this space when it does become official, but there’s little reason to doubt it will happen eventually.