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November 5, 2013

Red Sox coaching staff full of awesome stories

(Continued)

Red Sox hurlers posted a postseason-best 2.59 ERA.

During the regular season, Boston’s 3.79 staff ERA was the club’s best since 2002 (3.75) and down from 4.70 in 2012. Red Sox hurlers recorded a club record 1,294 strikeouts and 8.0 strikeouts per nine innings.

It all has to do with communication. Many considered when Farrell — a successful pitching coach for the Red Sox from 2007-10 — was hired as manager, he’d turn the rotation around.

Yes, Farrell worked closely with Nieves and the pitchers, but Farrell made it clear to his pitchers from the first day there was a chain of command. He told them to speak to Nieves first and never bypass Nieves and go straight to him.

“He uses positive reinforcement in such a good way that it makes you feel really, really good about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it,” Red Sox hurler Clay Buchholz said earlier this year.

An example of that positive reinforcement came during spring training when Buchholz hurt his hamstring.

“When everything was (starting) to go good and I was supposed to throw off the mound, he shot me a text like, ‘Hey Buck, I’m thinking about you. I can’t wait to get into that bullpen tomorrow,’” Buchholz recalled. “He makes you feel good about what you’re doing and what’s going on. And John’s the same way. Everybody knows he’s got our backs. If something goes on we know he’s going to be the first person that’s going to protect us and that brings the team close together.”

Torey’s time?

Last but not least is Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, 48, who might not return to Boston next year. He is considered a top managerial candidate and Theo Epstein is interested in Lovullo managing the Cubs.

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