The Red Sox have reportedly hired pitching analyst and minor league coordinator Dave Bush to be their new pitching coach, according to Barstool Sports’ Jared Carrabis and confirmed by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.
Identified as the “clear front-runner” for the role by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier earlier in the week, Bush has been with the Red Sox’ organization since 2016.
Going back to his playing days, the soon to be 40-year-old right-hander was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the 2002 amateur draft out of Wake Forest University.
In 211 career big league appearances (187 starts) between Toronto, Milwaukee, Texas, and Toronto again from 2004 until April 7th, 2013, Bush posted an ERA of 4.73 and FIP of 4.69 over 1,141 1/3 total innings pitched. He finished eighth in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2004.
Per the Sox’ 2019 media guide, Bush, was promoted to pitching performance coordinator in January. He also spent two years coaching overseas through MLB International and for the Chinese and South African national teams before joining the Sox three years ago.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Bush will be taking over for former Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie, who was reassigned as a pro scout for the club earlier in the month.
This news also comes just two days after the Sox formally introduced Chaim Bloom as their new chief baseball officer, so it would be interesting to see how much influence he had in this decision given the notion that Boston is headed towards a more analytics-driven approach with their pitching staff.
Kevin Walker was named assistant pitching coach on Thursday.
The Red Sox have reportedly spoken to former Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price about their vacancy at pitching coach, per Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown.
Price, 57, served as Cincinnati’s manger from the start of the 2014 season until April 19th of the 2018 campaign, but does have experience as a pitching coach, spending five years in the role with the Seattle Mariners from 2001-2005, four years in the role with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2006 until May 2009, and another four years in the role with the Reds prior to his promotion to manager on October 21st, 2013.
In his most recent stint as pitching coach under Dusty Baker’s Reds, Price oversaw a Cincinnati pitching staff that posted a 4.01 team ERA in 2010, a 4.16 team ERA in 2011, a 3.34 team ERA in 2012, and a 3.38 team ERA in 2013.
The Red Sox as a team owned an ERA of 4.70 in 2019, good for the 12th-worst mark in all of baseball.
Price appears to be the first name linked to the Sox’ pitching coach opening since the club reassigned Dana LeVangie two weeks ago.
The Red Sox announced changes to their coaching staff earlier Tuesday, and out of all the moves made, now-former pitching coach Dana LeVangie accepting a new role with the club as a pro scout probably stuck out the most.
LeVangie, 50, has been with the Sox since 1991, when he was selected in the 14th round of the amateur draft out of American International College in Springfield, Mass. that year.
Serving as a bullpen catcher, pro scout, advance scout, and bullpen coach in his time with Boston, the Whitman native was named Alex Cora’s pitching coach back in November of 2017 and oversaw a pitching staff that was one of the best in the American League en route to a 119-win season and historic World Series title in 2018.
2019 was a different story though, as the Red Sox finished with the ninth-worst team ERA (4.70) in the American League. Narrowing those numbers down to just the starting rotation, Boston ranked seventh in ERA (4.95), seventh, in fWAR (11.0), and eighth in innings pitched (806).
As difficult as it is to pin all these struggles on LeVangie, along with now-former assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister, someone had to take the fall. Bannister will also remain with Boston as vice president of pitching development, so it seems his role will primarily focus on aiding minor league pitchers in their development, as the above tweet mentions.
The news pertaining to Andy Barkett, meanwhile, was first reported last Wednesday and is now official.