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Juan Nieves to become pitching coach

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 7, 2012 02:45 PM

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- The Red Sox have selected White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves to become their next pitching coach.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports had the news first. The news is a bit of a surprise given an ESPN report that Baltimore minor league pitching director Rick Peterson was the favorite.

The Red Sox also considered Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire and Royals executive Steve Foster, a former bullpen coach.

Nieves, 47, spent five years in Chicago working under respected pitching coach Don Cooper. He was a pitching coach in the White Sox system for the nine years prior to that. He also spent four years coaching in the Yankees organization.

Nieves graduated from Avon Old Farms in Connecticut before pitching parts of three seasons in the majors for Milwaukee, going 32-25 with a 4.71 ERA. He no-hit the Orioles on April 15, 1987.

Nieves is in the Avon Old Farms Hall of Fame. He compiled a career record of 19-1 with a 1.05 ERA in three years at the school from 1980-83 and, in addition to baseball, captained the cross-country and basketball teams.

The Red Sox hope that Nieves will give them consistency. New manager John Farrell was the pitching coach from 2007-10. In the two seasons since, the Red Sox have had Curt Young, Bob McClure and Randy Niemann as pitching coaches. The turnover could be a contributing factor to the setbacks experienced by Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.

In all, Nieves has 18 years of coaching experience and familiarity with the American League.

"It became very clear that Juan was not only a talented pitching coach, but one I feel very comfortable with in working with our pitching staff," Farrell said. "I have known him for many years, and I have a high level of comfort with his in-game communication."

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