McClure to be named pitching coach

December, 22, 2011
12/22/11
12:48
PM ET
The Boston Red Sox will name Bob McClure their next pitching coach, a team source told ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald.

An announcement could come as soon as Thursday.

McClure has been under contract with the Red Sox since late November as a special assignment scout and instructor after being let go by the Kansas City Royals.

McClure had been pitching coach for the Royals from 2006-2011, notably helping tutor Zack Greinke to the AL Cy Young Award in 2009, but was not retained by Kansas City.

McClure had been with the Royals since the 2006 season, lasting through the managerial tenures of Buddy Bell, Trey Hillman and Ned Yost. But the starting pitching was a clear area of weakness for the Royals, particularly when it came to pitch count, and the front office decided it was important to give the staff a "new voice."

"I've never been around a pitching coach, or a coach period, who worked so well with everyone in the organization," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said at the end of the season. "Just at the end of the day, Ned and I, and the baseball operations group, we just felt like a new voice was necessary more than anything else."

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Wednesday that the club had decided on its next pitching coach but was waiting on an official announcement until a deal had been signed.

After his only season as pitching coach in Boston, Curt Young was allowed to return to take the same role with the Oakland Athletics, a position he held from 2004-2010. The Red Sox ranked ninth in the American League with a 4.20 ERA and were dead last with a 5.84 team ERA in September, when the team went 7-20 to finish out of the playoffs. After the season, it was uncovered that several pitchers were lax on workout routines and occasionally had beer and fried chicken in the clubhouse during games.

The 59-year-old McClure pitched 19 seasons in the major leagues from 1975-1993, mostly as a reliever. He had a 68-57 career record and a 3.81 ERA.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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