Red Sox to hire Juan Nieves as pitching coach

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Despite reports that manager John Farrell wanted Rick Peterson as his pitching coach Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the Red Sox “are expected” to give the job to Juan Nieves.

Nieves has spent the past five seasons as the White Sox’s bullpen coach and also spent nearly a decade as a pitching coach in the minors.

Before getting into coaching he pitched for the Brewers from 1986-1988, becoming the second-youngest player in baseball history to throw a no-hitter, but arm problems ended his career at age 23.

Nieves made headlines a couple years ago for saying during a radio interview that White Sox pitchers should intentionally throw at Twins hitters to “see if you can start a fight.”

Nieves takes over a pitching staff that was coached by Farrell from 2006-2010 and ranked 12th and 9th among AL teams in ERA during the two seasons he spent as Blue Jays manager.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.