CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – The Cleveland Indians made their hiring of Scott Atchison as bullpen coach official on Thursday.
The 41-year old spent the last two seasons as the Indians’ Major League Advance Coach & Staff Assistant, assisting the club’s advance scouting and providing analysis of upcoming opponents.
In order to retain Atchison, who had drawn suitors throughout the league, current bullpen coach Jason Bere had to be dismissed. Manager Terry Francona insinuated that the decision was about valuing Atchison’s unique gifts over those of Bere.
“Unfortunately, you can’t have two positions. So we had to tell Jason that we were going to have Scott be bullpen coach and he was not going to be back. It was not a fun conversation. Jason is extremely professional.”
Francona added that Atchison’s work ethic was also imperative.
“Atch was so integral in our advance reports and doing a lot of the dirty work, some of the grunt work that nobody wants to do. And he did it willingly,” Francona said. “His content is good because of his experience. He knows the league and he knows our pitchers. His ability to want to do the work is also important.”
Atchison pitched 17 years professionally, 9 in the the majors. His last two seasons came with the Indians in 2014 and 2015, making 93 relief appearances.
The Indians also interviewed internal candidates Steve Karsay and Ruben Niebla for the position.
“The interviews were actually really good. I was really proud of our guys,” Francona added. “Karsay and Ruben were tremendous and actually made the decision difficult, which is a good thing. I know it’s hard for guys to get a call back to say they weren’t named to the position.”