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Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Farrell: Sox could hire 2 hitting coaches

By Joe McDonald

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- The Boston Red Sox will begin interviews for the vacant hitting coach positions as early as this weekend, according to manager John Farrell.

During a conference call Wednesday, Farrell admitted the team wants to hire two men for the job, which is a practice more big league teams have been incorporating recently.

"It's not only being contemplated, it's being discussed in reality," Farrell said. "If I were to sit here today, that would be the preference to go with two guys, but just like we talked about my relationship with Juan [Nieves, who was named pitching coach Wednesday] in talking about pitchers, the consistency of messages is what matters most.

"When you look at what a hitting coach is required to do and the amount of time spent in the cage, in addition to preparing for an opponent on a given night, or for a given series, it has evolved into more than a one-man system or one-man setup and we're moving in that direction."

Since former Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan took a job with the Texas Rangers, the Red Sox have had internal discussions regarding his replacement. Those candidates are expected to meet with the team soon.

"That's the next step," Farrell said. "As we've done with the pitching coach position and the process that we've gone through, there's been a lot of conversations on recommendations on individuals. I would hope we get a much better, more clear picture of this toward the end of next week.

"It's our goal to have the best staff possible but one that's in place in a relatively short amount of time."

Later Wednesday at baseball's general managers meetings, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington confirmed this is a direction the team could go in and said he’s open to either arrangement. The trick to a two-man system, Cherington said, is to make sure the two men can seamlessly work together.

“We are considering a two-man system,” Cherington admitted. “I think it depends on who the first guy is and if the right complement is there it’s something we’d consider. There are pros and cons to both approaches. Depending who the people are we see some benefit to two people. It’s a big job trying to give appropriate attention to all 13 position players on the team, so it is something we’re considering.

“Both ways can work. There are some guys, and [Magadan] was one of them that could do a good job on their own, but it’s a big job so that’s why we’re considering this approach. We’ll see where it goes.”

Cherington also said the team is ready to begin the interview process, but was not at liberty to announce who possible candidates are.