Apparently the Blue Jays think the Red Sox have a pretty amazing coaching staff.
CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam reports that the Blue Jays have already interviewed Red Sox third base coach Tim Bogar and bench coach DeMarlo Hale as potential replacements for manager Cito Gaston and also have Boston pitching coach John Farrell on their list of candidates.
Here’s how Bogar described his interview, which apparently lasted around 90 minutes:
I tried to give them a sense of how I handle people and a ball club. It was kind of a “get-to-know-me” thing, who you are and what you’re about. John and DeMarlo have been a big help to me in my career. They’re good baseball men, and if it’s not me, it better be one of those two. You want the best for people you’re close with.
Toronto’s candidates list is seemingly pretty lengthy at this point, so it’ll be interesting to see how many Boston coaches make the next cut.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.