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Giants mindful of analytics in coaches search

Bochy says club stays on cutting edge as it seeks hitting, pitching replacements
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy is rooted in the past, but he actively dwells in the present.

Bochy's managerial template was shaped by men such as Bill Virdon and Dick Williams, who fully came of baseball age in the early 1950s and never could have dreamed of Statcast™ and its spinoffs.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy is rooted in the past, but he actively dwells in the present.

Bochy's managerial template was shaped by men such as Bill Virdon and Dick Williams, who fully came of baseball age in the early 1950s and never could have dreamed of Statcast™ and its spinoffs.

So, as Bochy assists in the search for the Giants' new hitting and pitching coaches, he understands that he must align himself with men fluent in baseball's 21st-century language, including modern statistical analysis.

"I know that certainly has been part of the discussion," Bochy said during Friday's conference call with Giants beat reporters. "Not that the staff wasn't open-minded. Some guys were more into it than others. ... I think when the staff is all said and done, you may see a little bit more of that."

The Giants are widely perceived to have disdained most modern metrics in recent years -- a charge that vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean has ridiculed. Moreover, the franchise's three World Series titles in five seasons between 2010-14 proved that whatever blueprint it used, it worked.

However, with the Giants recovering from going 64-98 and a last-place finish in the National League West, general manager Bobby Evans has tried to acquaint the team more closely with innovation. Bochy endorsed this approach.

"We try to stay on the cutting edge of what's going on with the game," Bochy said. "These discussions go back to the last couple of years, with the way baseball's going. ... It's becoming more prevalent with every club, including ours."

At the same time, Bochy added, "That's not just what we're looking for, people who are more analytics."

Evans has said he expects to name the hitting and pitching coaches after the World Series. The Giants also need an assistant hitting coach.

Bochy said that the hitting coach should be "somebody who's going to be a good communicator, that's going to have hopefully some new and fresh ideas. ... Sometimes [players] hear another voice. That might be something they need to get back to being a better offensive club."

Video: Bochy discusses changes he wants to see in 2018

Bochy wants the new pitching coach to resemble the previous one. He praised Dave Righetti, who was reassigned to a special assistant's role, as an "iconic" pitching coach.

"I really would like for the new pitching coach to have a lot of the qualities Dave Righetti has," Bochy said. "I can't imagine having a better pitching coach than Dave Righetti. ... We don't get to three World Series in five years without Rags. I was blessed to have him at my side. I'm honored that he's my friend. I'm just glad that he's going to be around so I can still have Rags to talk to and he can help the organization throughout all levels."

The Giants are believed to have interest in Dave Eiland, who was relieved of his duties as Royals pitching coach earlier this month.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants