Red Sox hire Carl Willis as new pitching coach

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Two days after firing pitching coach Juan Nieves the Red Sox have decided on a replacement, hiring 54-year-old Carl Willis away from the Indians organization.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Willis will join the team today, leaving his position as Triple-A pitching coach for the Indians after the Red Sox received permission to interview him.

Willis has been a big-league pitching coach for the Indians and the Mariners, and has experience working with Red Sox manager John Farrell from their time together in Cleveland’s farm system. CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Felix Hernandez all won Cy Young awards with Willis as their pitching coach, for whatever that’s worth.

Willis replaces Nieves, who won the World Series in his first season on the job in 2013 and was fired in his third season on the job thanks to Red Sox pitchers having the worst ERA in the league. Willis’ biggest challenge will be turning around a rotation that lacks No. 1/No. 2 starters and currently features ugly ERAs across the board from Rick Porcello (4.38), Justin Masterson (5.18), Joe Kelly (5.72), Clay Buchholz (6.03), and Wade Miley (6.91).