The Red Sox have their new set of coaches...but just who, exactly, are these guys?
For once, the Red Sox have met a deadline this offseason. Christmas has come and gone, and Bobby Valentine has his full coaching staff in place. As is the case with any regime change, there are a good few new faces in the crowd. Let's take a moment to meet--or in the case of Tim Bogar and Dave Magadan, reacquaint ourselves with--the coaching staff.
Pitching Coach: Bob McClure
There may not be many men better suited to tackling the unique challenges faced by the Red Sox' pitching staff this season than Bob McClure. With both Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves facing the possibility of moving from the bullpen to the rotation, McClure knows exactly what it is they're facing.
A veteran of 19 seasons in the major leagues, McClure made the jump from the pen to the rotation in 1982 with the Milwaukee Brewers. Three decent-but-unspectacular seasons later, and he was back in the bullpen, where he would spend the rest of his career, racking up a total of 1158 innings pitched.
Since retiring in 1983, McClure has acted as a pitching coach for the Rockies and Royals. Despite presiding over a season which saw the Royals' pitching staff put up better peripherals than they had since 2008, McClure was let go at the end of the season. The Sox quickly signed him on to work in their farm system before ultimately giving him the nod as their Major League pitching coach.
Hitting Coach: Dave Magadan
It's hard to argue with the results of Dave Magadan over the years. While he's had plenty of talent to work with, the Red Sox have consistently been among the best offensive teams in the league season after season, and last year was no different.
The biggest issue for Magadan this season will be trying to work out what went wrong with Carl Crawford this year. While the breakout season of Jacoby Ellsbury helped to mask the damage done by Crawford last year, a second terrible season from the left fielder would establish a trend few players break out from.
Bench Coach: Tim Bogar
Perhaps the best news coming from the announcement of the new coaching staff was not that Tim Bogar was still with the team, but that he was gone from third base. After two years of runners being gunned down at home, Bogar--oft considered a top managerial candidate--has been moved to a position perhaps more suitable for his talents. Sitting on the bench, Bogar won't be making any split-second decisions, but he will be able to help new manager Bobby Valentine meld with the team given the familiarity he has with the players after three years with the Sox.
Third-Base Coach: Jerry Royster
A man with more experience as a manager than a coach, Jerry Royster hasn't been at third for nearly a decade now. Still, when Bobby Valentine went looking for an experienced hand, he landed on Royster. A well-traveled man, Royster was the first foreigner to manage in the Korean league when he took over the Lotte Giants.
Royster does have some experience running the basepaths from his 16 seasons in the majors, too. While his period of effective base-swiping was limited mainly to five early years with the Braves, he did manage to snag 189 in his career. Hopefully he'll show a bit more caution than he did in those years too, as his 95 times caught suggest a too-agressive approach.
Still, he can't be worse than Bogar.
First-Base Coach: Alex Ochoa
One of the younger coaches in the game today, 39-year-old Alex Ochoa isn't far removed from his playing career. While Ochoa last appeared in the Majors in 2002 with the Angels, the former outfielder enjoyed a decent career in Japan, breaking to join the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2007.
Since his retirement, Ochoa has worked in the Red Sox organization. Well liked by those who work in and around the organization, this is the start of what could be a bright coaching career in the Majors.