Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves OK being patient – Boston Globe
There’s no tougher job in the Red Sox organization right now than the one Juan Nieves holds: pitching coach.
He has to help turn prospects into major leaguers. And right now there isn’t that one young pitcher emerging to take a job in the 2015 starting rotation. But Nieves has not lost hope and stresses that the jump to the majors takes time.
“It’s very tough,” Nieves said. “They come in from Triple A [after] maybe a year and half. The American League and pitching in the major leagues is not easy.
“Look at Baltimore. Chris Tillman and [Wei-Yen] Chen — three years ago they struggled. They were trying to survive in this league and now they’re getting it.
“It’s been interesting how the guys have made some strides and some guys have shown flashes of being able to do it, but, overall, I think the time spent up here is very important. It gives them a feel for the big leagues.”
It just doesn’t seem like Boston will be a place for that patience. How can you depend on a young starter to come along when you’re trying to win a World Series?
The Red Sox were able to be patient with Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, but the pitchers didn’t have much “struggle time.” They were both very good from the get-go. Nieves had Chris Sale in Chicago and he started in the bullpen, but was an instant success when he went to the rotation.
Nieves points out that even a great pitcher like Max Scherzer went through growing pains in Arizona and early on in Detroit before he became a Cy Young winner. Pitchers such as Felix Hernandez, Jose Fernandez, and Stephen Strasburg are few and far between — and Strasburg had Tommy John surgery.
So they have to wait, but for …read more