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REPORT: Phillies hire Bryan Price as pitching coach

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An important piece of the pitching staff has fallen into place

Cincinnati Reds v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

New manager Joe Girardi is wasting no time in getting down to business in filling out his coaching staff. According to Matt Gelb, he has found his pitching coach.

Price has all the makings of a good hire for the Phillies. Before acting as the manager of Cincinnati Reds in 2014 through 2018, he was the pitching coach for Seattle (‘01-’06) and Arizona (‘07-’09). He then was the pitching coach with the Reds before eventually becoming their manager. He was a pretty hot commodity this offseason, as several teams inquired about his services with one team, the Red Sox, apparently naming him as their runner-up before hiring their own new pitching coach. He was named Pitching Coach of the Year twice, in 2001 and 2007.

It’s kind of difficult to tell just how effective a pitching coach can be when looking at numbers. If you took that, and that alone, as gospel, then he seems to be ok.

B. Price as pitching coach

Year Team Team ERA Team BB% Team K%
Year Team Team ERA Team BB% Team K%
2001 Mariners 3.54 7.6% 17.2%
2002 Mariners 4.07 7.2% 17.4%
2003 Mariners 3.76 7.7% 16.6%
2004 Mariners 4.76 9.0% 16.2%
2005 Mariners 4.49 8.0% 14.5%
2006 Mariners 4.60 8.9% 17.0%
2007 Diamondbacks 4.13 8.8% 17.5%
2008 Diamondbacks 3.98 7.4% 20.1%
2010 Reds 4.01 8.5% 18.3%
2011 Reds 4.16 8.6% 17.8%
2012 Reds 3.34 7.1% 20.6%
2013 Reds 3.38 7.2% 21.3%

Those Cincinnati numbers look pretty sweet and would seem to suggest that Price had some good influence on the staff, but you have to remember: this was the height of Johnny Cueto’s powers. It was also before Mat Latos and Homer Bailey were good. Price already had some pretty good talent to work with, but he seems to have helped them unlock that talent.

That bodes well for some of the arms that are on the team and in the system. We’ll all look at Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez as the players we want to see improve, but the bigger question should be: does hiring Girardi and Price make free agent pitchers want to come to Philadelphia? Yes, I’m looking directly at Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg (assuming he opts out) and Zack Wheeler, et al. That will help determine the course of the pitching staffs still to take shape.

More on the story as it develops.