BlueClaws pitching coach Brian Sweeney is headed to Cleveland!
Brian Sweeney, BlueClaws pitching coach each of the last two seasons, has joined the Cleveland Indians coaching staff.
The move was announced on Monday by the Indians.
Sweeney helped the BlueClaws reach the 2016 South Atlantic League Championship Series and his pitching staff pitched to a 2.88 ERA after the All-Star break as the BlueClaws won the Second Half title. Among the pitchers Sweeney mentored last year were Drew Anderson, who was promoted mid-season and made his big league debut last year. Jose Taveras had a 2.32 second-half ERA and led the South Atlantic League with 154 strikeouts. He finished the 2017 season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Franklyn Kilome had a 2.77 second-half ERA and threw seven scoreless innings in the SAL Championship Series. He finished the 2017 season with Double-A Reading.
The 2017 BlueClaws pitching staff finished third in the league with a 3.26 ERA. Five of his pitchers - RHP Trevor Bettencourt, RHP Will Hibbs, LHP Nick Fanti, LHP JoJo Romero, and LHP Ranger Suarez.
Fanti finished third in the league in ERA at 2.54 and threw two no-hitters during the season. He got 26 outs in a May 6th win at Columbia, with Bettencourt getting the final out. Then on July 17th, Fanti threw a nine-inning no-hitter in a win over Charleston at FirstEnergy Park.
Romero and Suarez were both promoted to Hi-A Clearwater midway through the season. Romero, the BlueClaws Opening Day starter, went 5-1 with a 2.11 ERA and Suarez went 6-2 with a 1.59 ERA (neither pitcher threw enough SAL innings to qualify for the league lead in earned run average).
Sweeney also mentored top prospect Sixto Sanchez, who had a 64-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 2.41 ERA before a promotion to Hi-A Clearwater.
In addition to his work with the Phillies, Sweeney also was the pitching coach for Team Italy in the 2017 World Baseball Classic after playing for Team Italy in the 2013 WBC. Before joining the BlueClaws, he made his Phillies coaching debut with the GCL Phillies in 2015.
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