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Phillies hire McClure as pitching coach

The SportsXchange

Nearly two months after relieving Rich Dubee of his duties as the Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach, the team named his replacement.

The Phillies announced Thursday that they hired Bob McClure as their new pitching coach.

McClure, 61, pitched for 19 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Royals, Brewers, Expos, Mets, Angels, Cardinals and Marlins. He was the Kansas City Royals' pitching coach from 2006 through 2011 and the Boston Red Sox's pitching coach in 2012. He did not finish out the 2012 season with Boston, however, because of differences with Bobby Valentine, then the Red Sox manager.

The Phillies ranked 14th of the 15 National League teams in earned-run average in 2013 with a 4.32 ERA, ahead of only the Colorado Rockies.

"Bob brings a wealth of experience to our staff," manager Ryne Sandberg said in a statement. "We talked to many good candidates and couldn't be more pleased to add Mac as our pitching coach."

Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell and Pirates special assistant to the general manager Jim Benedict had both turned down offers from the Phillies to become their pitching coach, MLB.com reported.

The Phillies then interviewed a series of candidates, including Randy St. Claire, Rafael Chaves, Carl Willis, Pete Vuckovich, Nichols, Reid Cornelius, Ray Burris, Neil Allen and Jeff Pico.

"Mac was a little bit of a blessing in disguise," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We obviously had several interviews. We talked to a great number of quality candidates. We are very, very happy to have Mac with us. I think his personality, his experience, some of the due diligence we did with how he handles himself as a person and as a coach kind of emphasize what he brings to the table.

"You never really know how a coach or a player will perform unless they're in uniform doing their thing, but from the information we gathered and obviously the discussions that we had with him, we felt like he was the perfect fit for us."

The Phillies also announced Rod Nichols will return as the team's bullpen coach and Jesus Tiamo will return as bullpen catcher.

The Phillies have yet to name a replacement Wally Joyner, who left his job as the Phillies assistant hitting coach to become the Detroit Tigers' head hitting coach.
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