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WEEI » This Just In » Source: Sox eye McClure as pitching coach
Wed, 12/21/2011 - 11:37pm  

Source: Sox eye McClure as pitching coach

According to a major league source, the Red Sox are moving toward hiring Bob McClure as their next pitching coach. As of Wednesday night, no deal had been finalized for the 59-year-old, who had most recently been the pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals from 2006-11.

Two other candidates interviewing for the position, besides McClure, were former Astros pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, and Neil Allen, the Rays' Triple-A pitching coach. The Red Sox allowed their pitching coach for '11, Curt Young, to return to the Athletics to serve in the same position.

McClure had originally been hired by the Red Sox as a roving minor league pitching instructor and scout in November, with the expectation that he would lend a hand both in player development and with front office evaluations of pitchers. The veteran of 19 major league seasons also served as the pitching coach in the Colorado Rockies minor league system from 1999-05 prior to being hired by then-KC general manager Allard Baird, who now serves as the Red Sox' vice president of player personnel. 

Despite being fired at the end of the '11 season, McClure had many supporters in the Kansas City organization, having had a big role in the development of such young Royals pitchers as Greg Holland and Felipe Paulino. The former starter, who finished his career in 1993 after being released from the Florida Marlins, was also very close with former KC ace Zack Greinke, who figures to be one of the most highly sought after free agent pitchers following the '12 season.

In an interview with FanGraphs, McClure explained his priorities when working with pitchers (for the interview, click here):

When they’re young, I’m more or less focusing on getting them to repeat their delivery and letting them go. Very seldom, with young guys with good arms, do I get too in depth with, “This hitter is this type of hitter.” I’m more “pitch to your strengths” than “pitch to their weaknesses.” Stay in the lane, throw strikes, and go from there. Trust your stuff, because you’re better than they are.

With young kids, what you’re hoping for is that they repeat their delivery so their command gets better. The more they can repeat their delivery, the better their command is going to get.

I never understood it when I was told to me by my pitching coach, Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish, but he always used to tell me “Mac, strikes are in your delivery.” I had a pretty wild kind of delivery, a max-effort type of delivery. He would tell me, “:Strikes are in your delivery, strikes are in your delivery.” I couldn’t put two and two together, because I was 23, 24 years old. I really didn’t understand what he was saying, because the game was going so fast for me at that time. Now, as a pitching coach, and even when I was an older pitcher, I understand the importance of repeating your delivery.

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.

 




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