On top of the DiSarcina and Joppie announcements for Pawtucket, there were plenty more coaching moves up and down the Sox Minor League system today. In Portland Rich Gedman will take over as hitting coach after a season of doing the same in High-A Salem.
For the second straight year Nelson Paulino will fill Gedman’s role as hitting coach as he makes the jump from Lowell to Salem. Paulino will be in his 16th season with the Red Sox organization.
Also departing from Lowell is Paul Abbott who will jump up to Greenville to take the reigns as pitching coach. Joining Abbott with the Drive will be new hitting coach Tim Hyers who has spent the last four seasons as an area scout for the Red Sox. A former second round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays (1990) Hyers was previously a hitting coach with the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) in 2002.
The Short Season-A Lowell Spinners will add two new coaches to join manager Bruce Crabbe. Walter Miranda will fill the pitching coach role left vacant by Abbott. It will be the third separate time Walter has assumed this role with the Spinners, having previously done so in 2005-2006 and 2008. Noah Hall will be the team’s new hitting coach after a year of coaching with the Gulf Coast Red Sox alongside Miranda.
Darren Finster, who served as Greenville’s hitting coach last year, was named manager of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox.
RANAUDO, JOHNSON GREEN LIT FOR SPRING: Anthony Ranaudo and Brian Johnson, both young arms that the organization will hope they can rely on sometime in the near future and both of whom had a bit of uncertainty tagged to their names due to injury issues, were giving positive seals of approval from Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett on Friday.
Ranaudo, who missed much of the regular season with Portland due to a ‘dead arm’, looked to be back on track after pitching very well in the Puerto Rican winter league. But after suffering a groin injury in a November 28th start, concern once again entered into the equation.
"Anthony is back home and at this point we're not anticipating any kind of issue going forward to the offseason," said Crockett. "They did a bunch of tests and there were no tears of note, nothing more than muscle spasms. Based on the history of the injury, we wanted to be more on the cautious side. He's in a good place mentally to go into spring training."
Johnson, the 31st overall selection of the 2012 MLB draft, seems to be suffering no lingering affects after suffering multiple orbital bone fractures after being struck in the face with a line drive during a start with Lowell at Fenway Park in August.
"Currently there are no issues with [Johnson]," said Crockett. "He's been able to go through a fairly normal offseason and we hope that puts him in position to compete in spring training with everyone else."
The former Lowell Spinners skipper (2007-2009) and Billerica native, rejoins the Red Sox organization after spending the last two seasons in the Los Angeles Angels front office, and seemed eager to get down to business.
“The last two years have been tremendous to me as far as being educated in the front office side of things,” said DiSarcina. “But, it’s very exciting to be back.”
Flanked by former Red Sox players and current front office heads, DiSarcina had the full approval of all involved with the process of naming the next manager of the Red Sox Triple-A club.
"I think there are a lot of qualities that are necessary in this job that [DiSarcina] possesses,” said Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett. “The personality, the experience he had as a player, the different experiences as a manager and coordinator and in the front office. I think all those things combined put him in a really good place to succeed.”
DiSarcina will be looking to show off these qualities and use this opportunity as a chance to groom himself for a future position at a higher level, something he didn’t know he truly wanted until a year ago when he was thrust back into a managerial role for the Angels.
“When I was with the Angels I filled in for four days with our Double-A team,” said DiSarcina on why he wanted to be back on the bench. “The [managing] bug caught me. I missed the daily interaction with the players.
“Ultimately I want to be in a big league dugout. I know it takes time and you have to learn.”
Prior to getting the Pawtucket job, DiSarcina had just been promoted to special assistant to the general manager with the Angels and was heading into a meeting where with the team where he thought he was going to be discussing organizational matters.
“I walked into our Angels suite [at the Winter Meetings in Nashville], prepared to talk about our players and our strategy,” said DiSarcina. “I sat down on the couch for five minutes and [Angels G.M.] Jerry DiPoto said “I need to talk to you for a second.””
“From that day forth things have kind of been crazy. At first I thought the decision was going to be difficult…but the more I thought about it, the decision was very easy. The last week for me has just been trying to wrap my mind around being back.”
DiSarcina, who spent 12 years playing for the Angels, finished his playing career with Pawtucket in 2002 and wants to use those experiences in helping him communicate with current players at this level.
“Grinding it out at 33 years of age, having two kids and wife at the time, I just think those experiences, for me, is part of the whole gig,” said DiSarcina. “You’ve got to come in here and communicate with those guys. You have to make sure you talk to them every day.”
DiSarcina takes over for Arnie Beyeler who is now the first base coach for Boston after two seasons as the PawSox skipper.
Also new on the Pawtucket coaching staff is hitting coach Dave Joppie who was promoted from Portland after five seasons in the same position. Pitching coach Rich Sauveur returns to the PawSox for his fifth season.