Phillies hire McClure to be pitching coach
Former big league hurler held same position with Red Sox (2012), Royals (2006-11)
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies finally have found their new pitching coach.
More than seven weeks after revealing Rich Dubee would not return in 2014, they announced Thursday afternoon they have hired Bob McClure.
"Bob brings a wealth of experience to our staff," manager Ryne Sandberg said in a statement. "We talked to many good candidates and couldn't be more pleased to add Mac as our pitching coach."
The Phillies also announced Rod Nichols will return as bullpen coach and Jesus Tiamo will return as bullpen catcher.
The Phils interviewed at least 12 candidates and previously offered the job to Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell and Pirates special assistant to the general manager Jim Benedict. Both declined. They also interviewed Randy St. Claire, Rafael Chaves, Carl Willis, Pete Vuckovich, Nichols, Reid Cornelius, Ray Burris, Neil Allen and Jeff Pico.
"Mac was a little bit of a blessing in disguise," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We obviously had several interviews. We talked to a great number of quality candidates. We are very, very happy to have Mac with us. I think his personality, his experience, some of the due diligence we did with how he handles himself as a person and as a coach kind of emphasize what he brings to the table.
"You never really know how a coach or a player will perform unless they're in uniform doing their thing, but from the information we gathered and obviously the discussions that we had with him, we felt like he was the perfect fit for us."
McClure, 61, pitched 19 seasons in the big leagues with the Royals, Brewers, Expos, Mets, Angels, Cardinals and Marlins. He was the Royals' pitching coach from 2006-11 and the Red Sox's pitching coach in 2012, although he did not last the season because of differences with former manager Bobby Valentine.
"We set out to put ourselves in a position to give Ryne Sandberg as much support as possible, and we think Bob McClure with his experience and demeanor and the way he handled himself when we spoke to him, we felt he was a great fit," Amaro said.
The Phillies still plan on hiring a replacement for former assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner, who left the organization in October and returned a couple of weeks later, only to leave again recently to be the Tigers' head hitting coach.