This is the second time Joel Hanrahan has had his pitching coach yanked out from under him midway through a season.
The effect on Hanrahan wasn’t that great last season, when the Nationals changed coaches a couple of weeks before he was traded to the Pirates. This time, however, he felt the loss of coach Joe Kerrigan, who was fired this morning by manager John Russell.
“Joe is very smart, a very good pitching coach,” Hanrahan said. “He really turned me around last year. I had a (7.71) ERA when I got here. He helped me out and things took off from there.”
Hanny’s ERA over 33 games with the Pirates last year was 1.72. This year, he’s pitched very well for long stretches and has moved into the closer’s role. Hanrahan said Kerrigan was a big reason for his success — and it started minutes after Hanny walked into the Pirates’ clubhouse for the first time.
“Before I’d even put on a Pirates shirt or anything, I put my bag down and Joe said, ‘Come here.’ He took me in the video room, pulled up my stats and said, ‘This is your problem. Hitters are hitting .340 on fastballs away against you and .150 on fastballs in. You’re throwing to one side of the plate.’ He helped me with that philosophy and he made a mechanical adjustment — my hands were out and up, away from my body, and he brought them down to my belt, where they are now — and that helped.”