LeVangie to bench coach, Kipper to bullpen
BOSTON -- The Red Sox are beginning to address the ripple effect caused by manager John Farrell's absence. With Torey Lovullo serving as interim manager while Farrell battles Stage 1 lymphoma, the team decided on Sunday that bullpen coach Dana LeVangie will assume Lovullo's previous role as bench coach.
Replacing LeVangie in the bullpen is Triple-A Pawtucket pitching coach Bob Kipper. Both changes will take effect on Monday.
"A lot of moving parts there, and we wanted to stay internal," Lovullo said. "We know these two guys know baseball on a really good level, especially from within our system, and I think the fit's going to be really special."
LeVangie, born in Whitman, Mass., has been affiliated with the Red Sox as both a player and coach for his entire professional career. Before being named the club's bullpen coach in 2013, he worked as an advance scout for seven seasons, a bullpen catcher for eight and a pro scout for one.
A Boston 14th-round Draft pick in 1991, LeVangie was also a Minor League catcher for six years, advancing as far as Pawtucket in '95. His additional duties as the team's catching coordinator mean he'll get an up-close view of 23-year-old catcher Blake Swihart from the dugout.
"From my point of view, there's three or four different areas that I've got to run into," Lovullo said. "To have that bench coach there, to challenge some of my thoughts, to endorse some of my thoughts is going to be nice to have. Especially given Dana's background. There's immediate trust there. There's a guy that is respected in this game. And being able to bounce off some thoughts is going to be invaluable to me.
"The second part of that is, he's our catching instructor. We've got a young catcher in Blake Swihart behind the plate. He's going to be a little closer to the action. He's going to be able to have interactions with Blake and Ryan Hanigan between innings."
Kipper received a promotion from Double-A Portland in January, and his tutelage has preceded the Major League debuts of lefties Eduardo Rodriguez, Brian Johnson and Henry Owens. The PawSox have not announced who will take Kipper's spot on their coaching staff.