The next pitching coach is….???

As I wrote in a story on Monday, the Reds efforts to hire a new pitching coach are reaching the interviews stage some time this week while Walt Jocketty presides over meetings in Goodyear, Ariz.

A defined list of candidates isn’t known and unlike the Astros, which revealed their candidates for their managerial vacancy and the schedule for the interviews, Jocketty and the Reds aren’t likely to be as open about the process and will say little until there is a hire.

“We don’t have a timetable but we want to get it done sooner than later,” Jocketty said on Monday. “When we find the right guy, we’ll move on it.”

There isn’t a shortage of pitching coaches without teams — former A’s and Mets coach Rick Peterson expressed his interest already. Former Diamondbacks coach Bryan Price is also out there. As is Chris Bosio, who was the Brewers interim coach this season and until a couple of years ago, was in the Reds minor league system as the coach with Double-A Chattanooga. To the best of my knowledge, former Braves pitching guru Leo Mazzone hasn’t worked in baseball since he was let go by the Orioles. Carl Willis was just fired by the Indians but once presided over pitchers like Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia.

Of course, everyone is waiting to see what Dave Duncan does with the Cardinals.

Inside the organization, Ted Power worked with several members of the staff already at Triple-A Louisville. There is pitching coordinator Mack Jenkins. And then there is Mario Soto, who is well liked but has previously resisted the idea of being a full time coach in the Majors.

Of all the candidates, Duncan would likely be the most costly. It’d be like shelling out millions on a free agent player. You have to wonder what implications that would have on the payroll and the ability to add or keep players. Would that be worth it to you?

In the latest installment of “Fans play the GM,” who would you hire?

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I read an article yesterday that suggested some of Dave Duncan’s pitchers might want to follow him wherever he landed. The one name associated with this theory was Joel Piniero.
Given the Reds tight budget situation, I wonder if this would make Duncan less likely to come to a team like the Reds, who would have trouble paying the players who want to follow Duncan.

Mark, do you have a theory why Pole was singled out for firing when pitching did not seem to be the Reds major issue this year? The only conclusion that can be drawn from the outside is that management didn’t think Pole was effective and the pitchers were succeeding despite, not because, of his coaching.Are you hearing any rumors about Baker’s job? I assume it’s completely safe, although it wouldn’t be if I were the GM or owner. But given the amount of money involved it’s hard to imagine the Reds going in another direction right now.

I have no reason to think Baker won’t be back. He wouldn’t be participating with pitching coach interviews this week in Arizona if a firing was imminent. Not to mention the rest of the coaching staff has already been retained. Most new managers would want a say in the makeup of their staff.

As for Pole — there could be myriad reasons, including the one you listed. But none of the coaches were hired by Jocketty in the first place. This is a chance for an organizational thumbprint to be made, especially with young pitchers on the staff.

With the spat about Arroyo pitching with pine tar so fresh, would that affect any effort to seriously consider Duncan? If Duncan came in, would that signal a departure for Arroyo? Would Arroyo request out just because Duncan was being considered? Or is this not a big deal to any of these guys (Duncan, Arroyo, and Jocketty)?

I guess that coaches, unlike managers, don’t make the Hall of Fame. Nonetheless, I think Leo Mazzone should go in. Braves starters didn’t miss a start for something like three years in a row – that’s simply amazing. I don’t know if he would be right for the Reds, or if he wants to coach again, and so forth; but he’s one of the all-timers, and deserves to be in the Hall.

Mario Soto is my guy, hands down. I don’t think that Dave Duncan is the guy to go after for the money that it would take. I would rather see a guy like Soto, who has proven capable of working with our pitchers, and put more money into bringing in a couple more solid guys to emphasize development on pitchers in the minors. I don’t know enough about the A’s system, but whatever they do with their pitchers in the minors, they are ready to contribute before they put on a major league uniform…they seem to have a knack for producing quality major leaguers.

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