CLEVELAND -- Top assistants on winning teams are hot commodities to replace departing coaches and managers, and the Cleveland Indians know that feeling well after back-to-back American League Central Division championships and an appearance in the 2016 World Series.
On Sunday, the New York Mets hired Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as their new manager, leaving a void on Terry Francona’s coaching staff in Cleveland.
Here is a look at three potential replacements for Callaway.
Former Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell
Francona surrounds himself with coaches he knows well, and this would be a reuniting of two close friends, and two men committed to the game of baseball.
Farrell was Francona’s pitching coach with the Red Sox from 2007 to 2010 before becoming the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays (2011-2012) and later, back in Boston (2013-2017), and there is a trust factor that cannot be overstated.
Farrell was Francona’s pitching coach for Boston’s run to the World Series Championship in 2007, and then, as the manager, he led the Red Sox back to the pinnacle of baseball in his first year as the top coach in 2013.
In seven years as a manager, Farrell went 586-548 (.517 winning percentage) with a 12-11 record in the postseason.
A second-round pick of Cleveland in the 1984 MLB Draft, Farrell pitched for the Indians from 1987-1990 and again in 1995.
Former Indians pitcher Steve Karsay
Karsay spent four of his 11 years in Major League Baseball on the Indians’ pitching staff, compiling a 15-14 record with a 3.23 earned run average in 164 appearances. Over 223.0 innings of work, Karsay allowed 254 hits and 121 earned runs, and struck out 191 hitters against 69 walks.
Following his playing career, Karsay went into coaching, and currently serves as the pitching coach for the Columbus Clippers, the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate.
During Karsay’s first season in Columbus, 2016, the Clippers posted a team ERA of 3.65 and had a pair of 11-game winners in Mike Clevinger and Ryan Merritt, both of whom have become contributors to the Major League club over the past two seasons.
In 2017, the Clippers had a 4.33 ERA with six complete games and 12 shutouts. The Clippers tied with the Pawtucket Paw Sox for the most complete games this past season.
Former Indians reliever Scott Atchison
Atchison spent five years, three with Boston and two with Cleveland, on Francona’s pitching staffs and was a standout reliever for much of his career.
During his first year with the Indians in 2014, Atchison went 6-0 with a 2.75 ERA over 72.0 innings of work. He allowed only 60 hits and 22 earned runs with 49 strikeouts against 14 walks. In two years with the Indians, Atchison went 7-1 with a 3.63 ERA.
Since retiring as a pitcher, Atchison has worked with the Indians as a Major League Advance Coach and Staff Assistant.
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