The Red Sox and John Farrell have finalized their coaching staff for the upcoming season by naming Gregg Colbrunn the hitting coach. Boston.com and Peter Abraham report that Victor Rodriquez is the leading candidate for the newly created assistant hitting coach position. Assuming that these two hires go through there are no more openings on the staff for 2013. Here is a look at how the staff shapes up:
Manager- John Farrell
Bench Coach- Torey Lovullo
Pitching Coach- Juan Nieves
3rd Base Coach- Brian Butterfield
1st Base Coach- Arnie Beyeler
Bullpen Coach- Gary Tuck
Hitting Coach- Gregg Colbrunn
Asst. Hitting Coach- Victor Rodriquez (not yet official)
This has the potential to be the strongest coaching staff we've had since Terry Francona's first few seasons in Boston. The only noteworthy loss from last year's staff is former 3B coach Jerry Royster. He was the best 3B coach they've had over the last twenty years or so. Unfortunately, he had strong ties to last year's manager and had no shot of staying around, but if I had an opening at 3B coach I would certainly hire him if I was a major league manager. With that being said, from all accounts Brian Butterfield is one of the best coaches in MLB and he will soon make us forget about how good Jerry Royster was.
How far have we fallen? We used to battle with the NYY for American league supremacy and top free agents and now we've resorted to stealing their minor league hitting coaches! In all seriousness Colbrunn seems like a very good up and coming major league hitting coach and I'm not one of those Sox fans that's obsessed with comparing every move we make with the Yankees. In fact I think that is tiresome. I just want the Red Sox to build a strong baseball team that is built to last and not overreact to what other teams may do (like trade for the entire Miami Marlins team).
In an offseason where Red Sox fans are hoping that the front office makes a lot of smart personnel decisions. One of the smartest and perhaps underrated decisions they made was to let John Farrell choose his own coaching staff. No matter how bad last year's manager was he was set up to fail because he wasn't allowed to pick his own coaches and it led to having a divided coaching staff and clubhouse. If they really wanted to change the chicken and beer clubhouse culture than they should have cleaned house and hired a whole new coaching staff last year, and even though John Farrell has Red Sox connections this new manager and staff feel like a new beginning to this fan.