Bob McClure: Phillies Pitching Coach


Continuing my recent series on the Phillies uniformed coaching staff  today here at TBOH with an eye on the team’s Pitching Coach, Bob McClure.

McClure embarked on a pro baseball career when he was selected by the Royals in the 3rd round of the 1973 Amateur Draft. By 1975, McClure had broken into the bigs. He would allow no runs with 15 strikeouts over 15.1 innings.

Despite McClure primarily being used as a reliever over his career, he was the starting pitcher in 67 of his 97 total games from 1982-84 while with the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Over a long 19 year career from 1975-93, McClure finished with a 3.81 ERA, 68 wins, and 701 strikeouts for the Royals, Brewers, Expos, Mets, Angels, Cardinals, and Marlins.  In 1982, McClure helped the Brewers reach the World Series, earning the victory in the ALCS Game 5 clincher.

After hanging them up for good in 1993, McClure hung around with the Marlins organization as their Bullpen Catcher. He was then quickly promoted to the full-fledged Bullpen Coach with the Fish in May of that year. With commitments to coaching his son’s baseball team from 1995-98, McClure was only able to serve one season in pro baseball, as a scout for the Marlins in 1996.

McClure helped pitch the Brewers to the 1982 AL Pennant.

With his return to baseball in 1999, McClure spent the next seven seasons coaching for the Colorado Rockies’ with their  Salem (A) and Colorado Springs (AAA) affiliates.

In 2006, McClure reprised his role as a major league Pitching Coach; this time for the Kansas City Royals. With 2009 AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke on his resume, McClure moved on to the Boston Red Sox in 2012 to be a scout/instructor, but would later be named their Pitching Coach. When Boston’s disaster of a season was too much to handle, McClure was let go in August.

After opting to not bring back longtime Pitching Coach Rich Dubee in 2014, the Phillies brought McClure in as his replacement. In that role with the Phils, McClure must help his pitchers make mechanical adjustments, watch their in-game arm condition, and make mound visits to talk about strategy.

McClure is credited with helping Ken Giles gain control of his blazing 100-MPH fastball during last year’s spring training. With such a feat already accomplished, the Phillies are hoping for more of the same in 2015 from the veteran coach with the others on the staff.

Bringing many years of successful pitching to the table, McClure looks to boost a Phillies pitching staff that ranked 20th overall in ERA with 3.79 in 2014. A starting rotation loaded with veterans and a bullpen full of fire-ballers just may combine with McClure’s experience to make the team’s staff one of the game’s best.