Monday, October 20, 2008

Kerrigan Signs Up & Winter Ball News

When Jeff Andrews was let go, the speculation was that he was shown the door so quickly in a large part because a couple of guys the Pirate suits had their eyes on were available. One of the names bandied about was Joe Kerrigan's, and sho' enuff, he landed the job.

Kerrigan, 53, went to Temple and was a first round pick in the 1974 draft by Montreal. He made his major league debut on July 9, 1976, for the Expos. Kerrigan was traded to Baltimore after the 1977 season, and played with the O's until 1980.

So that's his playing background - 4 years, 131 games, 220 innings, mainly as an all purpose reliever, and a record of 8-12, with 15 saves and a 3.89 ERA. But the position requires psychology and technique, not an arm, and he's put together a pretty solid coaching resume since his playing days.

Kerrigan has spent parts of 12 seasons as a MLB pitching coach, first holding the job with the Expos from 1992-96, after splitting the previous nine seasons as Montreal's bullpen coach and minor league pitching coach. He met Neal Huntington there, who joined Montreal's front office in 1992. Nothin' like a little networking.

He joined the Red Sox in 1997 as the team's pitching coach. In August 2001, Kerrigan finished out the season as Boston's interim manager after Jimy Williams was canned. He finished with a 17-26 record, and was in turn replaced by Grady Little when new owners took over the BoSox reins.

Kerrigan moved on to the Phillies as their pitching coach for two seasons. Then he worked as a special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman in 2005 before taking over as the Yankees' bullpen coach for the 2006-07 seasons.

Kerrigan spent this year working as an on-air talking head for the Phillie's TV and radio crew.

He has to get more out of the staff than Andrews did. Besides a dozen years under his belt, Kerrigan will be an unknown to the guys he's coaching up, and that's a good thing - maybe it'll grab their attention.

If you recall, Andrews got the job because he knew so many of the pitchers from their minor league days, and they had a comfort zone with him. But we all saw what familiarity bred in that case.

He'll be the third Pirate pitching coach in three years, and the fourth in five seasons, following Spin Williams (2005), Jim Colburn (2006-07), and Andrews. Good luck to him and the staff.

> In case you were curious as to what Pirates were still playing ball over the winter, here's a list provided by Jenifer Langosch of and a little googling:

Arizona Fall League: RHP Jared Hughes (0-0, 10.38), C Steve Lerud (.333, 0-2), RHP Jeff Sues (0-0, 0.00), RHP Derek Hankins (0-0, 2.25), RHP Michael Crotta (0-0, 3.25), INF Shelby Ford (.344, 1-5), and OF Jamie Romak (.158, 0-3).

Ford is the only regular among the bunch, and none of the pitchers has gotten over 4 innings of work yet. The Scottsdale Scorpions are 5-7 so far. Lotta good this league is doing for Pittsburgh's prospects (or is that suspects) to date, hey?

Hawaiian League: IF Jim Negrych (.273, 0-3), SS Brian Friday (.205, 0-4), 1B Miles Durham (.290, 2-16), LHP Kyle Bloom (1-0, 2.40), RHP Eric Krebs (0-0, 5.40), RHP Harrison Bishop (1-0, 6.14), and RHP Moises Robles (0-2-2, 6.75).

Durham is a monster in Hawaii, and Bloom's doing pretty well, too. The West Oahu CaneFires are 10-8 and playing everyone on the roster. Primo!

Caribbean Leagues: OF Jose Tabata, OF Chris Duffy, OF Steve Pearce, C Robinzon Diaz, C Carlos Maldonado, C Raul Chavez, IF Luis Rivas, RHP Romulo Sanchez, LHP Dave Davidson, RHP John Van Benschoten, RHP Evan Meek, RHP Marino Salas, RHP Ron Belasario, RHP Jesse Chavez, RHP Nelson Cruz, RHP Edgar Gutierrez, RHP Juan Mateo, LHP Juan Perez, RHP Ron Uviedo, and RHP Malvin Vasquez.

Sorry, dudes, not in the mood to run down the Mexican, Venuzalean, and Dominican stats quite yet. Whoops, don't have to - they're here: Pirate Winter League Stats, found by Matt Bandi of Pittsburgh Lumber Company.


Big Snack said...

So whaddya think about this move?

I think anyone with "big time" (Sox and Yanks) should be an asset, and if I remember correctly, the PG says one of his methods is havin pitchers throw inside, which is something I don't think we do enough of...

Anyone for some chin music?

Ron Ieraci said...

Rock, if he can get those goofs to throw inside, I'll chip in for his salary.

WilliamJPellas said...

Just a quick correction, Ron. Jamie Romak is also a full time regular at double-A Altoona. Odd, though, that so few regulars---as you pointed out---are playing in the Arizona Fall League, which is supposed to be a showcase for top prospects.

Ron Ieraci said...

My bad, Will - they were all starters in the minors; I meant for the Scottsdale nine. And yah, Oahu gives everyone at-bats. Maybe the Arizona League is more competitive, or maybe it's just early in the year, but you'd think the time would be more or less split up to give everyone some work. Otherwise, what's the point? I'll check back in a couple of weeks and see how the pups are doing.