The Colorado Rockies have hired Steve Foster as their new pitching coach and Darren Holmes as their new bullpen coach.
Walt Weiss and Jeff Bridich have been vigorously interviewing candidates to fill the void in their coaching staff after Bridich swiftly fired former pitching coach Jim Wright and bullpen coach Bo McGlaughlin on October 23rd, his first moves since being promoted to general manager.
The Rockies came to a decision this week and officially announced Steve Foster as the new pitching coach and Darren Holmes as bullpen coach.
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“We are extremely excited to bring aboard two quality men in Steve Foster and Darren Holmes. They will collectively add valuable experience and prospective to our major league process,” said Bridich in an official statement of the decision, courtesy of the Denver Post.
Foster has spent the past five years in the Kansas City organization, as pitching coach from 2010-12 and special assistant and pitching coordinator to Royals’ GM Dayton Moore.
As a player, Foster’s career had a promising start, posting a 2.41 ERA as a reliever over three seasons (1991-93) with the Cincinnati Reds before a series of shoulder injuries forced him to retire.
Taking over a Rockies’ pitching staff that finished last in the National League in team ERA (4.84), starters’ ERA (4.89) and bullpen ERA (4.79) last season leaves Foster with a daunting task. However, he does have experience turning around struggling staffs. The Royals’ bullpen ranked second-to-last in ERA in 2009 (5.02) but improved in each season with Foster as pitching coach: 4.49 in 2010, 3.75 in 2011 and 3.17 in 2012.
Holmes returns to where his Major League career started. He was drafted by the Rockies in the fifth round of the 1992 amateur draft and was on the opening day roster of the inaugural 1993 team.
Holmes spent five seasons as a reliever for the club and went 23-13 with a 4.42 ERA and 46 saves in 263 games with Colorado from 1993-97. Holmes worked last season as biomechanics pitching consultant for the Atlanta Braves. A former teammate of Weiss, he will bring toughness and leadership along with his experience pitching at elevation.
Tom Runnels will return as bench coach and Blake Doyle will return as hitting coach in 2015. Now that the coaching staff is solidified, the front office can focus on other moves to improve the team this winter.