The Yankees liked the idea of having an experienced bullpen coach to help Ron Guidry’s transition as a first-year pitching coach, and Kerrigan has stints on his resume as the manager and pitching coach of the Red Sox and pitching coach of the Expos and Phillies.
Although Kerrigan worked with Johnson many years ago, he said whatever he notices about Johnson this season he will relay to Guidry instead of directly to Johnson. And Johnson said he will rely on Kerrigan for scouting reports rather than pitching tips.
“What he is really good at is scouting the opponent, knowing the strengths and the weaknesses of the opponent,” Johnson said. “Last year people went to him for what was going on with the teams we were playing. We will have that insight again this year.”
The Yankees also thought highly of Kerrigan’s scouting reports. Manager Joe Torre said he has known Kerrigan to be “thorough” and said he was impressed with his reports. “I got a taste of what he did as far as information and being prepared,” he said.
Instead of focusing simply on scouting the opposing team’s lineup, Kerrigan said he devised a system where he produced reports that took into account the strengths and weaknesses of the Yankees’ starter. The strategy to attack each hitter was right there.
“Not everyone can pitch the same, obviously, so you try to give options for that particular pitcher’s strengths,” Kerrigan said. “You’re telling them the hitter’s weakness, but if you don’t have that as a strength, it’s not to your benefit to attack that weakness.”
Yeah, but, can he teach the sinker?
OK, joking aside, this report is the best news that I’ve heard coming out of camp so far this year. I’m actually excited – and cannot wait to see the impact of Dr. K over the course of the whole season.