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Juan Nieves used to make Don Cooper coffee in the morning when they roomed together for four years when Nieves was Cooper’s bullpen coach with the White Sox.
Now he’s taken Cooper’s pitching philosophy and adapted it to his Red Sox staff. The results have been very good. Jon Lester is 6-1, Clay Buchholz 6-0.
Nieves has adopted the up-tempo pace with Red Sox pitchers that Cooper stresses with the White Sox. He also has challenged pitchers to be more agressive low in the strike zone and uses Cooper’s positive reinfoircement ways to motivate his pitching staff. Where Curt Young, Bob McClure and Randy Niemann didn’t work in succeeding John Farrell as pitching coach, Nieves has been a big hit.