Niebla gets right down to work in new position

Niebla gets right down to work in new position

Niebla gets right down to work in new position
CLEVELAND -- Ruben Niebla did not have much time to get settled in. When he arrived at Progressive Field around the fourth inning of Thursday's game against the Red Sox, the Indians' new pitching coach found his locker and went right to work.

Niebla has not stopped moving.

"They dropped off the scouting report for the Boston Red Sox," Niebla said, "and they took my iPad and filled it with video. I've got all these things coming left and right. This is my third meeting today. It's been interesting, but it's been fun."

Niebla, who is in his 12th season in the Indians' organization, was promoted from pitching coach at Triple-A Columbus to Cleveland's interim pitching coach on Thursday. He replaces the outgoing Scott Radinsky, who was let go in light of the Tribe's persistent pitching problems this season.

The Indians will have Julio Rangel fill Niebla's former role with Columbus for the rest of this season. Rangel -- a member of the Cleveland organization since 2007 -- is the club's mental skills and lower-level pitching coordinator.

When Niebla arrived in Cleveland, he inherited a pitching staff that ranked last in the American League in runs allowed (574), walks issued (396) and wild pitches thrown (51), and second to last in team ERA (4.72) and strikeouts (740).

Niebla knows he has his work cut out for him.

"The biggest thing is that I build a relationship with all the pitchers," he said. "I think that's important and that's going to be the first thing on my agenda, is [to let] those guys know that I'm here to help them. I'm a resource to them. I'm not here to put the magic wand over anybody.

"I think that if collectively we're working and communicating, I think that hopefully we can get this staff headed in the right direction."

Many of the pitchers inside the Indians' clubhouse already have experience working with Niebla in the Minor Leagues. That was one of the main reasons Cleveland chose him as Radinsky's replacement. For those hurlers, they were happy to have a pitching coach who already brings familiarity.

"To me, it's a good thing," said rookie starter Zach McAllister. "I've been with him the last two years. Definitely, the way it went down with Rad was not a good way to end, but for me, I'm definitely happy to have Ruben here. I think a lot of us that were there last year are happy he's here."