By Sean McAdam
The departure of former pitching coach John Farrell has left a considerable void in the Red Sox coaching staff.
Farrell, who was named manager of the Toronto Blue Jays Monday afternoon, spent the last four seasons with the Red Sox and his influence and impact on the staff was sizeable.
When Farrell was offered the job Friday, the Red Sox began sifting through a list of candidates to replace him. The team has said there will be some internal candidates. Mike Cather is almost certain to be one.
He served as Double A Portland's pitching coach before becoming one-half of the organization major league advance scouting duo this past year.
Another internal candidate is likely to be Ralph Treuel, the team's highly respected minor-league pitching coordinator, who served briefly as the Red Sox pitching coach in September of 2001 when Joe Kerrigan replaced Jimy Williams as manager.
It's more likely, however, that the Red Sox go outside the organization to replace Farrell, himself an outside hire from Cleveland when he was hired after the 2006 seasons.
One of the most interesting candidates is Curt Young, who rejected a one-year deal to return as Oakland A's pitching coach over the weekend, citing a desire to "pursue another opportunity."
Young lives in Scottsdale, Az., and was thought to be a candidate to replace Mel Stottlemyre Jr. as pitching coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks. But the Diamondbacks, according to a National League source, appeared to be close to hiring former Cleveland Indians pitcher Charles Nagy for the position Monday. Nagy had worked in the Indians' minor league system.
Young spent seven seasons with the A's, joining the staff the season after Red Sox manager Terry Francona left his position as Oakland bench coach to come to Boston. Young is credited with helping a number of successful young A's pitchers mature at the big-league level, including Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey.
The A's finished with the best ERA in the American League in 2010.
The Sox had had some internal discussions about approaching Dave Duncan, perhaps the most highly-regarded coach in the game, who, until Monday, was without a contract for 2011. But after Tony LaRussa agreed to return as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals last week, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Duncan would rejoin the Cards' staff, a fact comfirmed Monday when Duncan got a two-year deal in St. Louis -- a year longer than La Russa.