The Boston Red Sox barely missed the playoffs in 2011 because of their pitching down the stretch. They really missed the playoffs in 2012 because of, well, everything, but mostly the pitching. They let go Bob McClure in the middle of last season, and they promoted assistant pitching coach Randy Niemann temporarily. They've made their official hire for 2013 now, tapping White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves for the position
Nieves pitched three seasons with the Brewers, but arm troubles forced him out of the majors before he was 24. His selection was something of a surprise, as former A's/Mets/Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson was assumed to be the front-runner because of his ties with new Sox manager John Farrell. But according to Jon Heyman, Nieves interviewed with the Red Sox for seven hours, during which he certainly racked up all sorts of pitcher-coach-abuse points, but came out looking pretty good.
Next for Nieves: figuring out what in the heck happened with Clay Buchholz and Daniel Bard. Godspeed, Juan.