Dubee A Good Fit For Phils Pitchers

Had it not been for all of the controversy that former manager Larry Bowa faced, pitching coach Joe Kerrigan would have had more fire directed his way. With Kerrigan's exit, Rich Dubee joined the Phillies and has been a perfect solution for a pitching staff that can be somewhat tempermental at times.

Rich Dubee and Joe Kerrigan are like night and day when it comes to shaping a pitching staff. Sure, they both believe in throwing strikes - what pitching coach doesn't - and getting the most out of their staff. The difference in how they go about it though is big enough to fill the Grand Canyon.

Kerrigan was analytical. He crunched numbers, played the odds and believed that pitchers, at least to a certain extent, had to fit into a certain mold. There were certain things that they had to do to win. Mechanics had to be tweaked and in some cases, reworked.

Rich Dubee is a pitcher's coach. He goes over the basic scouting reports and will tell his pitchers what will work and what won't against opposing hitters, but he's not the one to crunch stats and pull every little scrap of detail out of a scouting report. He believes that all pitchers are different and that their mechanics must be comfortable for them and that they shouldn't be remade unless it's an absolute necessity.

The Phillies pitching staff has embraced Dubee in his first spring with the club. Brett Myers and Gavin Floyd have both scrapped the changes that Joe Kerrigan seemingly pushed upon them during his stint with the club. Both pitchers have had meetings with Dubee, but the discussions focused more on the pitchers and how they can be most effective. Dubee is more of a listener and less of a talker than was Kerrigan. He has developed a grasp of what his pitchers like to do in certain situations and is working to make them successful with their own style.

While new manager Charlie Manuel has kept the clubhouse light, Dubee has been a big part of the new approach. He is often seen just chatting and joking with his pitching staff, something that wasn't a very regular thing with Kerrigan. Even with the light approach that Dubee brings and the somewhat hands-off teaching that he offers, the pitching staff knows that they have a true coach that they can go to. Not that Kerrigan didn't know his stuff and didn't have some good points to offer, but Dubee has shown stressed that the Phillies pitchers can be successful using what has worked for them. There are no cookie cutter molds for pitchers to conform to and no set way of doing things.

With pretty much of a complete coaching staff overhaul in place, the Phillies players have had a lot to adjust to. Fortunately, the coaching staff has all brought a lighter way of doing things and the players have responded. Perhaps, the biggest addition - outside of Manuel - will wind up being Rich Dubee and the changes that he brings could be a key for the Phillies in 2005.

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