Wallace sidelined with hip infection
Nipper assumes coaching duties
The Red Sox may not have pitching coach Dave Wallace for spring training. (Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)
Red Sox pitching coach Dave Wallace has been hospitalized in Spartanburg, S.C., the past few days after suffering an infection in his hip that could keep him out of spring training and possibly part of the regular season.
Manager Terry Francona said newly appointed bullpen coach Al Nipper will fill in for Wallace. Nipper, who served as the team's minor league pitching coordinator last season, was the Sox' major league pitching coach under Kevin Kennedy in 1995 and 1996.
Team physician Thomas Gill said Wallace was admitted to the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic last Saturday after complaining of intense hip pain as he drove from his Boston-area home down the East Coast. When Wallace was no longer able to drive, he phoned Gill to tell him about his symptoms and Gill was able to get Wallace admitted to Steadman-Hawkins.
Gill, who said Wallace had a hip replacement about a decade ago, said the coach had a procedure to wash out the infection and because Wallace's condition had stabilized, he hoped Wallace could be moved to Massachusetts General Hospital tomorrow.
Of Wallace's return, Gill said the ''best-case scenario is mid to late spring training." Gill said Wallace will suffer from overall weakness for a period of time and his vital signs will be monitored.
Francona said there's no need for Wallace to rush back.
''He's such a great person and he's been through a lot lately with his health," said Francona, who is 10 weeks into recovery from a knee replacement. ''We're just going to give Wally all the time he needs and Nip will work with our pitchers. We have other coaches available in spring training to help out, so we'll be fine."
Francona will arrive in Fort Myers, Fla., tomorrow after spending time in Philadelphia with his son and in Miami with his daughter. Doctors have told him he's ahead of schedule in his knee rehabilitation but said the real test will come after he is on his feet for an extended period of time during spring training drills.
The Red Sox announced a long list of hirings and promotions: Abington native Mike Hazen was named the director of player development after serving as the assistant director of player development for the Indians the past two seasons; Brian O'Halloran, previously the director of major league administration, was promoted to director of baseball operations; Zack Scott was promoted to assistant director of baseball operations from baseball operations assistant; and Jared Porter has been named assistant for player development.
In addition, Dana Levangie, who was a pro scout last season after serving as the Sox bullpen catcher for many years, was promoted to advance scout, replacing Dave Jauss, who joined Grady Little with the Dodgers' as bench coach. Marc DelPiano joins the Red Sox from the Florida Marlins as a special assignment scout. Galen Carr was promoted to professional scout and Kyle Evans, who pitched in the Indians organization, joins the club as video advance scouting coordinator. Eddie Romero Jr., the son of former Red Sox infielder Ed Romero, has been named assistant for professional scouting. Gus Quattlebaum has been named a professional scout after serving in the same capacity for the Baltimore Orioles. John Dipuglia has been named coordinator of Latin American scouting after spending the last two years as the Red Sox' Latin American cross-checker. Ernesto Gomez has been named supervisor of Venezuelan scouting. And Manny Nanita has been named coordinator of Dominican Scouting and Player Development.