John Fay had a discussion with Walt Jocketty about the pitching coach vacancy and here is what he had to say:
Walt Jocketty said there’s a chance the Reds could name a pitching coach before the postseason ends.
“To be honest, I’d like to have done before that,” he said. “But we haven’t finalized the list yet.”
My guess is the Reds wait until the St. Louis Cardinals are elimianted. Dave Duncan, the St. Louis pitching coach, is involved in the postseason. Duncan has expressed his unhappiness with his situation with the Cardinals. He and Jocketty worked together during Jocketty’s time in St. Louis.
The hiring process will pick up when the Reds brass meets in Goodyear next week.
“We’ve talk to a few people,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “I’ll meet with Dusty (Baker) and the coaches next week.”
Ted Power, the pitching coach for Triple-A Louisville, has expressed his interest in the job. Special assistant Mario Soto has not.
“I haven’t talked to Mario,” Jocketty said. “I’ll see him in Arizona.”
Jocketty said the list of candidates will be in the four-to-five range.
The buzz was and continues to be that Jocketty is going to bring in his former employee Dave Duncan. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about it. I can certainly see the appeal of Duncan, but I also wonder if he's a good fit for our young pitchers.
During his time with the Cardinals, Duncan continually locked horns with young pitcher Anthony Reyes. Duncan wanted him to become a groundball style pitcher, while Reyes preferred to stick to the 4-seamer and working up in the zone, which is the style that brought him so much success in the minors. Ultimately, Reyes needed a change of scenery to get a legitimate shot in the starting rotation at the MLB level.
This incident is of note because the Reds don't have a single starting pitcher who gets more groundballs than flyballs. Not one. Not Bailey, Cueto, Harang, Arroyo, or Edinson. Obviously, Great American Ballpark is ideally suited for ground ball pitching, but I have to wonder if Duncan would try to transform our young pitchers into something they aren't.
If Duncan is willing to work with what he has to maximize their performance, then we would be fine. If, however, he tries to force ground ball tendencies on young pitchers who don't utilize that approach, then it could be problematic. Whoever will be hired will have to adapt to the talent on the roster, not force the talent to adapt to him.
Ultimately, Dave Duncan has the talent and wisdom to make it work wherever he goes, but I just hope he would be willing to be flexible with his ground ball philosophy until he has pitchers who can actually implement and execute that approach.