Sox Interested in Young Talent


After the departure of John Farrell earlier this week, the Red Sox have an immediate void they need to fill. Farrell did a lot for the younger pitching talent on the Sox and was well-liked and respected by people around the league, so his hiring as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays was not a terrible surprise to anyone within the organization. That being said, it is time to move on and find the next great pitching coach and the Sox think they have a winner. This weekend, Oakland Athletics pitching coach Curt Young rejected a nice offer to remain as the team’s pitching coach. That certainly raised a ton of eyebrows, many suggesting the Red Sox have at least in principle been negotiating with the 50-year old to fill the vacant spot as Terry Francona’s pitching side-kick.

Young is an interesting guy to fill the open position. Having been with the Athletics since 2004 in the pitching coach position, Young has had the ability to develop and grow young talent like Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Dan Haren, Andrew Bailey, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden, all currently with serious potential or have been successful over the years. The Sox love a guy that can develop young stars and he will certainly have the opportunity to work with many of the Sox prospects (Michael Bowden, Felix Doubront, Casey Kelly) when they surface at the big league level. The key for Farrell’s successor is the ability to work with veteran guys with the same level of success. John Lackey and Josh Beckett had disappointing seasons, Beckett’s due to injury, but Lackey was just plain ineffective. Lester and Buchholz will continue to grow and mature, but the Sox need someone to help guide Lackey back to his winning ways (if possible).

As I have said before, I was a big fan of John Farrell, but think the timing of his departure is beneficial to the Sox. After several years, it is sometimes nice to have a fresh face and a new perspective on training and workload of pitchers and Young will certainly walk through the door with many years of major league experience, including 10 years as a pitcher in the big leagues from 1983-1993. In his professional role with the A’s since 2004, according to his bio on the A’s website, Young’s pitching staffs allowed the fewest home runs in the American League (909),  the lowest opponent batting average (.259) and were second in ERA (4.10). His resume is impressive and the hope is that he can translate his successful methods into a big market team that has arguably more talent and more pressure.

Young hasn’t been hired yet, but the Sox consider him the leading candidate and as long as no managerial offer is on the table, he will likely take his services to Fenway Park in 2011. Could this be the beginning of a series of moves for the Red Sox? Only time will tell…