PAWTUCKET, R.I. ?? As pitchers acquaint themselves with new pitching coach Bob McClure at spring training, Brandon Duckworth will already know the drill.
Before joining the Red Sox organization in 2010, the Triple-A Pawtucket pitcher played for McClure in Kansas City. Under McClure's tutelage — from 2006 to 2008 ? with the Royals, Duckworth posted a 7-13 record and fanned 68 batters in 48 appearances.
Speaking at the Pawtucket Red Sox Hot Stove Media Day on Friday, Duckworth raved about McClure?s hiring and fawned about the 59-year-old's coaching style from their time with the Royals.
"He was one of my favorite pitching coaches in the major leagues," Duckworth told NESN.com "He's a no-nonsense guy, but he has fun. He keeps things light and he'll try just about anything if it makes sense. He's very open-minded about everything and I think he's going to be a good addition to this staff."
That approach helped mold former Royals ace Zack Greinke into a Cy Young winner. Despite McClure's open attitude, Duckworth emphasized that McClure would quickly instill discipline into Boston's pitchers.
"He's into the game in all aspects," Duckworth said. "He's that guy that isn't afraid if you need a little kick in the butt to get after you a little bit. He commands respect and everybody that I've talked to that he's been the pitching coach for, respects him."
Meanwhile, after his first season in Pawtucket, Duckworth is determined to secure a spot on the Red Sox staff in 2012. Last year, the 35-year-old provided stability for the Triple-A rotation, going 8-6 with a 3.97 ERA in 22 games.
The last time Duckworth pitched in the majors was in 2008, when he was in Kansas City with McClure. By reuniting with him, Duckworth expects the familiarity to help McClure?s adjustment while also aiding his own cause.
"Going into a whole new situation when you have players you had in the past, I think that's a little easier transition," Duckworth said. "Likewise for a player. Knowing coaches, you won't always be on edge, but at the same time, you know what you need to do."