By Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff
Red Sox bullpen coach and catching instructor Gary Tuck resigned from his position Tuesday for personal reasons. Tuck had been working with Ryan Lavarnway in Fort Myers, Fla., the past week, but informed general manager Ben Cherington he would not be returning.
According to Red Sox manager John Farrell, "He felt it was time to retire. Talented guy. Will miss him."
Cherington and Farrell said the team is exploring internal options to fill the position.
Tuck, who was the lone holdover from fired manager Bobby Valentine’s staff, took a leave of absence last season because of personal matters. He was replaced then by minor league instructor Chad Epperson.
Tuck, 58, has a good reputation for his catching knowledge and instruction. He helped in the development of former Yankees star Jorge Posada and was instrumental in the improvements made by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Lavarnway.
Former catcher Jason Varitek, who is a special assistant to Cherington, could be a candidate to replace Tuck. The Sox also employ Rich Gedman in the minors as a hitting coach. Gedman was also a terrific student of the game and had an outstanding rapport with pitchers and catchers during his long tenure with the Red Sox as a player.