BOSTON — The Red Sox have taken another step in their quest to improve the performance of their pitching staff.
The Sox have added pitching analyst Brian Bannister to their coaching staff, effective immediately, team president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced Tuesday.
Bannister, whose title as Boston’s director of pitching analysis and development remains unchanged, now will serve as a close assistant to pitching coach Carl Willis and will be in uniform before each game working alongside Willis, manager John Farrell and the pitching staff. Per Major League Baseball rules, Bannister won’t be in the dugout during games and will watch each contest from either the clubhouse or the stands.
“We’re looking for any way to make ourselves better,” Dombrowksi said before Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers. “… There’s a lot of work to be done, and we think (this move) maybe gives us a little bit of an edge and will allow us to improve.”
Bannister spent five years in the majors as a pitcher for the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals and played his last MLB season in 2010. He joined the Red Sox as a professional scout in January 2015 and in September 2015 was promoted to his current role as director of pitching analytics, which Dombrowski created specifically for him.
“(Bannister) has worked closely with supplying information to John Farrell and Carl Willis throughout the season,” Dombrowski said. “Now that the (MLB) draft is over, his responsibilities on that end of it are done, of course. We thought it would be that much more helpful to put him in uniform. The players in today’s game really want the type of information that he supplies — statistical, analytical, arm angles — they want to see these type of things.”
Dombrowski insisted the move wasn’t made because the Red Sox are “unhappy” with Willis as pitching coach, but rather as an opportunity to improve a staff that sports a lackluster 4.48 ERA entering Tuesday.
“Let’s face it — our pitching has scuffled at times,” Dombrowski added. “We’re trying to do everything we can to help it.”
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images