Boston Red Sox director of player development Mike Hazen confirmed Tuesday that the process to find Pawtucket’s next manager is already under way. The vacancy was created when Torey Lovullo left to become Toronto’s first base coach on Monday.
“We’ve already started to put together a list,” Hazen said via cell phone. “Certainly within the list you have to stay somewhat flexible because of (potential coaching shifts at the major league level). As a result more candidates could become available as those situations play out.”
Hazen noted that there is no specific timetable for when the PawSox will have a new manager in place. Last year the Red Sox hired Ron Johnson, who managed in Pawtucket from 2005-09, to become the team’s first base coach on Nov. 23. Seven days later Lovullo was named Johnson’s successor.
“We’ll do a lot of background work and hopefully hire the next good one,” Hazen said.
This marks the second straight offseason season the PawSox are looking to fill the same two coaching positions: manager and hitting coach. The latter spot opened up when Gerald Perry accepted to become Oakland’s hitting coach last month.
“It’s certainly a challenge from a continuity standpoint. Obviously we believe in maintaining that,” said Hazen when asked if this felt like déjà vu. “At the same time you want to have the most talented coaching staff that you can. There’s a balance there. It will be a challenge, but it will be no different than any other year.”
The sentiment out there was that once Toronto hired Farrell, it would only be a matter of time before an invitation was extended to Lovullo for him to join Farrell’s staff. The two had worked closely together in Cleveland, Farrell as the farm director with Lovullo serving as the Triple-A manager.
“I think when you’re dealing with a quality coach like Torey, it doesn’t really who the manager is. The connection isn’t necessarily the first thing you think of,” said Hazen. “You probably know you’re on borrowed time the second you hire him and that turned out to be the case, but we wouldn’t trade in the year we had with Torey for anything. We saw a lot of great things on the field in Pawtucket from a development standpoint.”
If Lovullo’s hiring revealed anything, it’s that the Red Sox are not afraid of looking outside the organization for potential minor-league personal. Still, it will be interesting to see if current Double-A manager Arnie Beyeler receives consideration. The Portland Press Herald reported Tuesday that Beyeler did not receive an interview when Johnson was added to Terry Francona’s staff.