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Red Sox narrow search for pitching coach to five

Bryan Price (center) was Reds manager from 2014-18.john minchillo/Associated Press

The Red Sox are in the final stages of selecting a pitching coach, and according to a major league source, they have interviewed five candidates.

The only known candidate is former Reds manager and Reds, Diamondbacks, and Mariners pitching coach Bryan Price. He is the only person with experience as a big league pitching coach to interview for the position.

The Red Sox have interviewed both internal and external candidates, exploring the possibility of plucking a pitching coach from college baseball. Derek Johnson, now with the Reds, was hired from Vanderbilt by the Brewers after the 2015 season and the Twins hired Wes Johnson from Arkansas last winter.


Once the Sox hire a pitching coach, they likely will have additional pitching positions to fill. They may hire an assistant pitching coach, and if they promote someone from the minor league system for that, they would have to hire a replacement for him.

After the 2019 season, the Red Sox reassigned pitching coach Dana LeVangie to the pro scouting staff while announcing that Brian Bannister, who’d served as assistant pitching coach in addition to vice president of pitching development, will focus on helping pitchers in the minors.

The restructuring came after a season in which they had a 4.70 team ERA, 19th in the majors, dealing with both injuries and disappointing performances, particularly in the starting rotation.

Gold Glove finalists

Red Sox outfielders Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Andrew Benintendi along with catcher Christian Vazquez were named Rawlings Gold Glove finalists.

Betts, a three-time Gold Glove winner in right field, led American League outfielders with 15 defensive runs saved. His 12.6 Ultimate Zone Rating was second in the AL. The Astros’ Josh Reddick and the Angels’ Kole Calhoun are the other finalists in right. However, Betts’s numbers in addition to his range in right field at Fenway Park make it hard to imagine him losing out on this award.


Bradley’s metrics take a hit in center field. Many balls that are playable in other ballparks result in extra-base hits at Fenway. As a result, Bradley can’t exhibit his range to the degree of, say, Mike Trout at Angels Stadium or Kevin Kiermaier at Tropicana Field — the other two finalists. It’s part of the reason why the award eluded Bradley until 2018.

Bradley posted a minus-1.2 UZR and minus-1 DRS in 2019, but, again, those numbers don’t reflect what he can do in center. He has one of the best outfield arms — if not the best — in all of baseball and above-average range.

Bradley has a knack for turning his back on a ball hit over his head, running directly to a spot where he knows the ball will be, and catching it. Tough to do, considering he has to take his eye off the ball for a period of time.

If Bradley is traded this offseason, you can bet the metrics in any other ballpark will help support the eye test that has him rated as the top center fielder in most baseball circles.

Vazquez had a breakout season at the plate but his work behind it took a step back.

Still, Vazquez showed at times why he’s elite at his position, throwing out runners at a 38 percent clip. The Blue Jays’ Danny Jansen and the Indians’ Roberto Perez are the two other AL finalists at the position.


The most interesting choice might be Benintendi, who certainly had a down year in left field. Benintendi didn’t exhibit that same burst he did last season, particularly on balls he came in on. While he posted a 1.7 UZR, Benintendi had a minus-3 DRS. He will be up against the A’s Robbie Grossman and the Royals’ Alex Gordon.

Winners will be announced Nov. 3.

Julian McWilliams of the Globe staff contributed to this report.