Whatever was talked about in this picture clearly hasn’t been working so far for Beckett this season
The 2012 season has not lived up to anyone’s expectations, and in the eternal search for a scapegoat, it appears the first hat has fallen on pitching coach Bob McClure, who was relieved of his duties this afternoon.
The move comes at a time when the Red Sox stand 7.5 games out of the wild card and 4 games under .500 for the season, and their pitching staff is one of the main reasons why. The team’s ERA stands at 4.30, good for 7th worst in the majors this season. While the team has put 26 players on the disabled list this year, including starters John Lackey, Aaron Cook, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, and now most recently Felix Doubront, as well as proposed closer Andrew Bailey, that shouldn’t be used as an excuse for their struggles.
Daniel Bard moved to the rotation this spring, pitching to an uninspiring 5.24 ERA that lead to his demotion to Triple-A and return to the bullpen. Jon Lester, a rotation mainstay the past few years, currently has an ERA north of 5 as well, as does Beckett. The other two members of the rotation for most of the season, Cook and Doubront, have ERAs of 4.58 and 4.70, respectively.
While ERA isn’t a perfect stat or indication of how a player’s performing, it’s safe to say that these sort of numbers are a far cry from the norm that we’d expect, especially from Lester of Beckett. Combined, they have a 12-23 record, and that simply is a sign that something needed to change, and after a reasonably successful year under Curt Young, the Red Sox will be moving on to their third pitching coach in the two seasons that have passed since fan favorite (and potential managerial candidate?) John Farrell took the Toronto Blue Jays managerial position.
The Sox seem to be getting a head start on what will likely become another tumultuous offseason for the team, as other coaching and player changes should be coming.
Randy Niemann, the assistant pitching coach, will act as the interim pitching coach for the rest of the season, as Boston tries to right the ship and salvage what’s left of this year.