The Red Sox are on to their third pitching coach in two seasons after firing Bob McClure on Monday.
McClure served as a pitching coach for the Rockies and Royals before being hired to replace Curt Young last December. Young lasted just one season after taking over for John Farrell, who left Boston after the 2010 campaign for a job as Toronto’s manager.
Replacing McClure is Randy Niemann, who was already working as Boston’s assistant pitching coach. Niemann spent the previous two decades with the Mets and worked under Bobby Valentine in New York for a time. It’s his first gig as a team’s primary pitching coach.
Under McClure, the Red Sox rank 11th in the AL with a 4.30 ERA this season. They were ninth in the league at 4.20 last year.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: