Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) - For many Indians pitchers on the current Major League roster, they have known now former pitching coach Scott Radinsky most of their professional lives.
“He’s helped me to become a man, he’s helped me become a father,” Indians closer Chris Perez said. “I owe a lot of what I have become to him.”
Radinsky was fired by the Indians Thursday prior to their game against the Boston Red Sox. Oddly enough, it comes a day after the team broke their 11-game losing streak, topping the Twins 6-2.
“There’s been struggles, but he’s an excellent pitching coach,” Indians starter Justin Masterson said. “Some might say that results haven’t necessarily been as well this year, but that’s part of this game.”
The Indians pitching staff has been one of the worst in baseball in 2012, sporting a 4.74 ERA, ahead of just the Twins and Rockies for 28th in the league.
Opposing hitters are hitting .254 against the Indians, with 100 home runs to go along with a slugging percentage of .396.
Every pitcher that spoke Thursday about the firing of Radinsky said just about the same thing – it’s our fault.
“We’re the ones that are out there, we’re the ones that have to execute,” relief pitcher Joe Smith said. “We all love ‘Rad’, and if you look around here the guys that have been with him we’ve been with him since 2010.
“At the end of the year last year when they were going to make a change everyone in this locker room wanted ‘Rad’ as our pitching coach.”
Last season the Indians lost pitching coach Tim Belcher, who stepped away at the end of the year to spend more time with his family.
Radinsky was in his third year on the Indians’ coaching staff, but his first as pitching coach. He served as bullpen coach in 2010 and 2011.
“The thing (GM Chris) Antonetti said to us is it’s one thing to be under performing, but he didn’t see any signs of us getting any better, which is a big thing for him,” Perez said. “He didn’t see anybody making any kind of strides, which I can agree with.”
For now, the team will turn to Ruben Niebla, who has spent the season as the pitching coach for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers.
Still 9.5 back of the White Sox for first in the AL Central, the move reeks of desperation in a season that has gone south in a hurry, but a move the team hopes will give them some type of spark.