Dustin Pedroia: The Pitching Coach?
Boston, MA– The best pitching coach in the recent history of the Boston Red Sox has undoubtedly been John Farrell, who served as the head of the pitching managerial staff from 2007 to 2010 before transitioning to Toronto Blue Jays manager and then returning to the Boston Red Sox to be the manager from 2013 to 2017. He did win one World Series as manager, but Farrell's contributions are unparalleled when considering the effect he had on pitchers during his tenure.
The Red Sox have been fortunate to have many solid pitching coaches since Farrell, especially the most recent holder of the title (since 2018), Dana LeVangie. While LeVangie has some work to do during the 2019 season with his pitchers, there might be someone else gunning for the position.
Dustin Pedroia is enduring yet another stint on the injured list with problems with his knee, and while many have speculated that Pedroia might retire and become an assistant in the Red Sox organization, that speculation might just be gaining steam after all.
Last night, Eduardo Rodriguez was on the mound for Boston's 11-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers and some interesting comments from him about his pitching style has led some to believe that Pedroia might be a pitching guru. During the game, Rodriguez unveiled a new pitch of his, a pretty killer breaking ball.
Rodriguez said he's always wanted to learn how to throw a breaking ball throughout his career so he jumped at the opportunity when Pedroia approached him and recommended that the young upstart pitcher learn how to throw one. Pedroia showed him a particular way to hold the ball and a way to position his knee on the release. Rodriguez gravitated towards the pitch and ended up throwing it on 18% of his pitches yesterday, when he debuted it for the first time.
Considering how well it did for him, he and other pitchers might find themselves consulting Pedroia a lot more in the coming games. It's heartening to know that even if he can't always play, Pedroia is still a leader behind the scenes.
Image via Flickr / Keith Allison