Juan Nieves

Juan Nieves on dismissal: 'I wasn't surprised'

Rob Bradford
May 07, 2015 - 11:17 am

Nobody would have blamed Juan Nieves for being shocked when informed by Red Sox manager John Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington after Wednesday night's 5-3 loss to the Rays that he was being dismissed as pitching coach. It was just more than one month into the season, and Nieves had served in the position two years earlier when helping guide a Red Sox pitching staff to the world championship. But, when reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Nieves noted the news didn't take him off guard. "No, I wasn't surprised. They know me," he said. "We were not pitching well and had a below-average month. I understand the decision that was made. I'm accountable for them." During a conference call with the media Thursday, Farrell insinuated that the key element when formulating the decision was Nieves' inability to get production out of the starting pitchers. The Red Sox starters carry the second-worst ERA in the major leagues (5.54), with their starting pitcher not having made it through the fifth inning seven times this season. "We were not very good at all. We showed flashes, and I hope they pitch better. We showed some flashes, but we were not good enough," Nieves said. "I just think we had great communication with the guys. I thought the guys communicated really well among themselves. Of course they come from different places, not unlike the previous group that was here before. They knew what they were getting themselves into, with us having a rough year the year before. But these guys worked really with each other. They had great communication with me. It just took a little bit longer." Nieves also said there were no philosophical differences that led to the dismissal. "The attacking is the most important thing," he responded regarding the approach needed by the Red Sox' pitchers. "Every starter had their own ways of pitching. Of course they're a little different in a lot of ways. It was a combination of things. "I think one of the things that mattered the most was they were adapting to a new stage and a new scene. Obviously, it took a little longer than normal." In the end, Nieves' message was of no hard-feelings and no regrets. "[Cherington and Farrell] were very respectful," he said. "It'€™s not because of lack of work or lack of preparation. It just didn'€™t happen."