Boston Red Sox fire pitching coach Juan Nieves


It’s not just the players being effected by the team’s efforts to salvage their struggling pitching staff. The Boston Red Sox announced on Thursday that they have dismissed pitching coach Juan Nieves, who has served with the team in that capacity since 2013.

The news comes on the heels of the decision earlier on Thursday to designate reliever Edward Mujica for assignment. The 31-year old righthander became the latest causality in what has become a revolving door to the Red Sox bullpen.

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Boston ranks 29th in the majors with a 4.86 ERA. The starting rotation has been a disaster, posting a collective 5.54 ERA. The bullpen falls in the middle of the pack with a 3.82 ERA, but has thrown a major league-high 101.1 innings.

Nieves was brought on board when John Farrell took over as manager in 2013. Since then, the Red Sox are 22nd in the majors with a 3.98 ERA. The staff was good enough to win a World Series in his first season with the team, but has regressed ever since.

You can’t fire the entire pitching staff, but you can fire the pitching coach instead.

Nieves can’t be blamed entirely for the disappointing pitching production, but a shakeup could be what this team needs to spark a sense of urgency. It also could be that Nieves has had the misfortune of being the fall guy to deflect blame from manager John Farrell, who is himself a former pitching coach.

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The team has not announced a replacement for Nieves yet, but more details could come this afternoon when Farrell is expected to hold a press conference, alongside general manager Ben Cherington. With Thursday being an off day for the team, they may be able to hold off until tomorrow before making a final decision to fill the role.

Will a new pitching coach be able to fix this staff and get them to pitch to their potential, or is the departure of Nieves merely the first domino to fall? Nieves was the first member of the coaching staff to be let go in response to a frustrating start to the season, but there may be more to come.