Philadelphia Phillies Hire Of Bob McClure As Pitching Coach Will Go Great Way In Determining 2014 Success

Section 215-A Philadelphia City Sports Blog

The Phillies pitching coach search didn’t get as ugly as the Eagles 2011 defensive-coordinator search that saw them ultimately name offensive-line coach Juan Castillo the defensive coordinator, but it was pretty close.

Nearly 60 days ago, the Phillies fired pitching coach Rich Dubee after nine years. Since then, the Phillies have been played by Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell, and begged by former Braves and Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone to hire him. In between those two, the Phillies interview over 10 candidates, not coming to terms with any of them. That is until today.

McClure has had an eventful coaching history to say the least. After spending six seasons as a minor-league pitching coach for the Colorado Rockies, McClure served as the Kansas City Royals pitching coach from 2006-2011. For the 2012 season, Bobby Valentine brought McClure in as the Boston Red Sox pitching coach. McClure had a short run in Boston, as did Valentine, getting fired in August 2011 after a disastrous performance from the Red Sox pitching staff in 2012. McClure was also accused of leaking confidential information from a players-only meeting with ownership, after the Red Sox let him go. So his short tenure in Boston, and his most recent job, was a complete disaster.

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Still, McClure has managed to be an MLB pitching coach for two teams in his coaching career, which would lead you to think that he has at least a  moderate concept of pitching. And as much of a disaster as Bobby Valentine made the 2012 Red Sox, it’s hard for me to take too much stock into McClure’s rough season of 2012.

It’s hard to get a read on McClure for me. He obviously wasn’t the Phillies first choice, or they would have hired him weeks ago. But, they did choose him over an internal candidate like Rod Nichols, who manager Ryne Sandberg reportedly lobbied for, which tells you that Ruben Amaro at least thinks somewhat highly of McClure. Then again, Ruben Amaro also thought highly of Delmon Young.

For the Phillies to have any hopes of playoff contention in 2014, McClure will have to do a great job as the Phillies pitching coach. Contrary to popular opinion, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee aren’t the only guys that McClure will be coaching. He will likely be working with Kyle Kendrick, Jonathan Pettibone, and barring another signing, Ethan Martin. Something tells me that the consistency of the three starters at the back end of the rotation, will go a great way in determining the Phillies success in 2014.

Tags: Bob McClure Philadelphia Phillies

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