Tribe hires Bere as bullpen coach
Former pitcher had worked in Cleveland's front office for nine years
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have found their new bullpen coach, and he will not have to worry too much about a transition period.
On Tuesday, Cleveland announced that Jason Bere has been hired to fill the coaching role that was vacated when the Rays hired Kevin Cash to be their new manager. Bere has spent the past nine years in the Tribe's front office, working with both Major and Minor League pitchers as a special assistant to the Indians' baseball operations department.
"He's been with the organization a long time, so everybody knows him," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "By design, we had him around a lot, not just in Spring Training, but in September and at a few key points during the year, because of what he can add to a staff."
Bere replaces Cash as the partner for pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who has helped turn Cleveland's staff into one of the better groups in the American League over the past two seasons. The rest of Francona's coaching staff (bench coach Brad Mills, hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo, assistant hitting coach Matt Quatraro, first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh) remains intact for 2015.
Cash, who was hired as Cleveland's bullpen coach prior to the 2013 season, interviewed for managerial openings with both the Rangers and Rays this offseason. Tampa Bay officially named Cash as its replacement for Joe Maddon (now the manager of the Cubs) in early December. Cleveland then embarked on a search for a new bullpen coach, focusing on internal candidates.
Francona is confident that Bere, who has been in uniform to assist the Indians coaching staff during Spring Training and at various points during the regular season in recent years, will more than make up for Cleveland losing Cash.
"Jason is filling some big shoes, but he can stand on his own just fine," Francona said. "Mickey and Cashy were such a good pair together. They both benefited each other and complemented each other. I think Jason Bere will be exactly the same way. [He has] a little different skill set and a little different background, but his ability to communicate with players is something that stands out from the minute you meet him."
The 43-year-old Bere spent 11 seasons in the Majors with the White Sox, Reds, Brewers, Cubs and Indians. He appeared in only 13 games with Cleveland in parts of the 2000 and '03 campaigns, and went 71-65 with a 5.14 ERA in 211 career games in the big leagues. Bere finished second in voting for the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1993 and made his only All-Star team in '94.