Stanley put in charge of 51s pitchers

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Bob Stanley will serve as 51s pitching coach next season, joining a staff that will return manager Marty Brown and hitting coach Chad Mottola to the Toronto Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate.

Stanley, who replaces Tom Signore, was a two-time American League All-Star and key member of Boston’s 1986 American League champions, who came within one strike of winning the World Series against the New York Mets.

The 57-year-old "Steamer" went 115-97 with a 3.64 ERA and 132 saves in 13 seasons with the Red Sox (1977 to 1989) and is the team’s all-time leader in appearances with 637.

Stanley, who served as pitching coach for 12 seasons in the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants organizations, hasn’t coached since 2008, when he finished a five-year run at Double-A Connecticut (Giants).

"He’s been out of the game a little bit due to some personal issues, but he’s pretty knowledgeable," Brown said. "I’m sure he has got some very good ideas of what he can implement, and I’m looking forward to hearing about those."

Brown, who was named Minor League Manager of the Year in 2004 by Baseball America, guided the 51s to a 71-73 record in his inaugural season in Las Vegas.

The 51s led the Pacific Coast League in batting for the third time in four years, setting a franchise record with a .307 average, and promoted 20 players to Toronto, including Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, one of baseball’s most promising newcomers.

"I’m looking forward to coming back to Vegas. I really enjoyed being there last year," said Brown, 48, an Oklahoma native. "It’s an exciting time. We’ve got a lot of young talent coming up in Double A and a lot of interesting things happening at the major league level that should put us with a pretty talented team, on the offensive side, especially."

Las Vegas will feature several top prospects in 2012, including catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who was last year’s Eastern League Most Valuable Player, and outfielders Anthony Gose and Moises Sierra, who all are expected to make the jump from Double-A New Hampshire.

First baseman David Cooper, who led the PCL in batting with a .364 average, and Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, a defensive whiz, also are expected to return to the 51s, who will open their 30th season April 5 at Cashman Field against the Sacramento River Cats (Oakland Athletics).

Stanley inherits a pitching staff that finished near the bottom of the PCL in ERA (5.76) and lost its ace in left-hander Brad Mills, who was traded by Toronto to the Los Angeles Angels for catcher Jeff Mathis.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354.

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