The Boston Red Sox hired Juan Nieves as their fifth pitching coach since 2010, seeking to improve a staff that last season had Major League Baseball’s fourth-worst earned run average.
Nieves, 47, comes to Boston after 14 years in the Chicago White Sox organization, including the past five as bullpen coach. He was also a pitching coach in the team’s minor-league system, most recently at the Triple-A level from 2005-07.
Nieves, who threw a no-hitter for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1987 before his playing career was cut short by injuries after three years, inherits a Boston pitching staff that had a 4.70 ERA last season. The Red Sox went 69-93, their worst record since 1965, leading to the firing of manager Bobby Valentine.
John Farrell, Boston’s pitching coach from 2007-10, was hired last month to replace Valentine and said having stability at pitching coach was a priority.
Curt Young held the job in 2011 after Farrell left to become manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, while Bob McClure and Randy Niemann each saw time in the role last season, with Niemann taking over after McClure was fired mid-season.
Starting pitchers Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz combined for a 20-22 record and a 4.70 ERA last season after going 57-28 with a 3.10 ERA the previous two seasons.
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