CLEVELAND -- There is a story that Indians manager Terry Francona loves to tell about Scott Atchison. On Francona's final day as manager of the Red Sox, he told Atchison, one of his relievers in Boston, that he would pitch for him again at some point.Francona's prediction came to fruition,
CLEVELAND -- There is a story that Indians manager Terry Francona loves to tell about Scott Atchison. On Francona's final day as manager of the Red Sox, he told Atchison, one of his relievers in Boston, that he would pitch for him again at some point.
Francona's prediction came to fruition, with Atchison back in his bullpen in Cleveland for parts of the past two seasons. What they could not have known at the end of the 2011 season in Boston was that Atchison would someday join Francona's Major League staff. On Thursday, the Indians announced that Atchison has been hired to work as a Major League advance coach and staff assistant.
Cleveland also hired Mike Barnett to be the team's new Major League replay coordinator and staff assistant.
Atchison pitched for Francona in Boston during the 2010-11 seasons and later joined the Indians as a Minor League free agent prior to the '14 campaign. The right-hander had a strong showing that season out of the Tribe's bullpen, but his struggles last year led to Cleveland releasing him in June. Atchison later retired after a 17-year pro career, including nine seasons in the big leagues.
In his new role, the 39-year-old Atchison will assist in the club's advance scouting process, provide analysis of upcoming opponents and relay advance information to the coaches and players. Atchison will also work with pitching coach Mickey Callaway and bullpen coach Jason Bere on a daily basis.
Alex Eckelman, who worked as the Indians' advanced scouting coordinator for the past four seasons, moved back to the front office to serve as the team's assistant director of player development.
Barnett, 57, spent the last three seasons as the Minor League hitting coordinator for the Blue Jays. With the Indians, he will serve as the main communication liaison between the dugout and clubhouse replay system during games. Barnett, who has an extensive coaching background, will also assist the coaching staff with other daily functions.
Barnett was previously a big league hitting coach for the Blue Jays (2002-05), Royals ('06-08) and Astros ('11-12). Barnett worked under Indians bench coach Brad Mills, who was the manager in Houston from '10-12. Barnett also worked as a hitting coach throughout the White Sox system from 1990-97, when he previously worked with Francona.
Barnett replaces Gregg Langbehn, who served as Cleveland's Major League replay coordinator for the past two seasons.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.