The Red Sox could have a new pitching coach in place before the end of the week.
General manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell interviewed four candidates and appear impressed with Rick Peterson, Baltimore’s director of pitching development.
“We’re moving along pretty good this week,” Cherington said.
Peterson, 58, has been a major league pitching coach with the Athletics, Mets, and Brewers. When Farrell started his playing career in the Cleveland organization, Peterson was his pitching coach with Double A Waterbury in 1986 and Triple A Buffalo in 1987.
Peterson is considered a pioneer in using biomechanical analysis to help prevent injuries for pitchers.
The Red Sox also spoke to former Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire, White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves, and Royals executive Steve Foster, a former bullpen coach.
The Red Sox plan to start speaking to hitting coaches this week. The remaining spots on their staff — first base coach and bullpen coach — should fall into place quickly after that.
The deadline to pick up the contract option on bullpen coach Gary Tuck is coming up soon. He remains a candidate to return.
Ortiz: Valentine ‘crazy’
During an interview with NBC Sports on Oct. 23, former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine implied that David Ortiz could have played the final weeks of the season but elected not to because of a strained right Achilles’ tendon.
“He decided not to play any more. I think at that time it was all downhill from there,” Valentine said.
Ortiz withheld comment at the time. But he opened up a little on Monday.
“It was something that made me feel uncomfortable,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been here for the past 10 years. You guys know pretty much how I go about my business. . . . You know how important to myself [it is] to be on the field and represent this organization the way I do. I don’t really need to add any more things to it.”
Ortiz also told ESPN Deportes that Valentine tried to explain the comment afterward.
“He sent me a text message trying to tell me that it was the media trying to change things. I did not respond to the message and I said to myself, ‘This guy must have some mental issues or needs medicine or something?’ I said, ‘I am dealing with someone crazy and I am not going to drive myself crazy, so it is better if I leave it alone.’ ”
Ross door still open
The Red Sox had initial contract talks with outfielder Cody Ross but nothing that came close to preventing him from entering the free agent market.
“The door will remain open, and we’ll continue to talk, but once we’re in free agency, he’s got opportunities to talk to other teams, and we fully expect him to do that,” Cherington said.
“Going back to last fall when I first talked to Cody about coming here, the goal obviously was to do well as a team, but part of the goal was to put him in a better position. I felt it could put him in a better position by coming here and performing in this ballpark. The good news is that it did. That’s to his credit. He’s in a good position now. It makes it tougher to sign him. We’ll keep the door open. We’ll keep talking. At the same time, we’ve got to consider alternatives, too.”
Ross hit .267 with 22 home runs and 81 RBIs last season on a one-year, $3 million deal. He hit .298 with 13 homers and 49 RBIs at Fenway Park. He is seeking three years.
Reinold won’t return
The Red Sox will not bring head physical therapist Mike Reinold back for 2013, although he could serve as a consultant. Reinold had been with the team since 2006 in assorted roles and was the head athletic trainer from 2010-11. He also was the assistant director of medical services when that title existed. Reinold is considered one of the best in his field. But the Red Sox have had a remarkable run of injuries in recent years. Reinold also had what at times seemed like undue influence on determining when injured players could return to the lineup . . . Cherington interviewed respected scout and long-time minor league manager Tom Kotchman last week. Kotchman left the Angels after 29 years and has spoken to a number of teams. He is the father of major league first baseman Casey Kotchman. The Red Sox hired longtime Angels executive Eddie Bane as a personnel adviser last week, which could give them an edge in adding Kotchman to the staff. . . . Cherington said he was not close to any trades last week. The Sox were rumored to be speaking to the Angels about starters Dan Haren and Ervin Santana. Haren was not traded and is a free agent. Santana was dealt to the Royals.