Friday, May 08, 2015

The First Heads Roll At Fenway

As the Red Sox pitching struggles continued through Wednesday night, they took action on their Thursday off day on two fronts.

They fired pitching coach Juan Nieves. The Sox are ranked dead last in ERA in the AL, and next-to-last in MLB. Somebody as to take the fall for this slow start, and as the old saying goes "you can't fire the players," so Nieves is out. He was the pitching coach since 2013, and the Sox won it all in his first season. So, I guess he's gone from genius to dummy.

Will this have any long term positive effect on the pitching staff? Hard to say, as they have not named a replacement for him. Many people in the media are painting Nieves as a scapegoat for the Red Sox pitching troubles, and they maybe right. He didn't put together this underwhelming starting staff. I believe that is Ben Cherington's call.

Cherington said this yesterday:
"John and I simply got to the point where we felt that, in order to continue to push forward and make improvements, we needed to make a change and have a different voice in that particular position."

Make of that what you will.

Actually, the Red Sox did "fire" a player on Thursday, as the long national Edward Mujica nightmare has come to an end, as he was designated for assignment. He was a disaster of a free agent signing before the 2014 season, and this season he got off to a lousy start, with a 4.61 ERA in 13 innings. He blew the save in Yankee Stadium in early April that led to the 19 inning marathon the Sox eventually won.

It may be time to flush out more dead wood like Mujica, and the Sox brought up young reliever Matt Barnes to take his place. More moves are sure to follow.

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