Juan Nieves

Juan Manuel Nieves Cruz (born January 5, 1965)[1] is a Puerto Rican professional baseball pitcher and coach who is currently the assistant pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1986 to 1988. He has coached in MLB for the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, and Miami Marlins.

Juan Nieves
Nieves with the Chicago White Sox in 2011
Detroit Tigers – No. 61
Born: (1965-01-05) January 5, 1965
Santurce, Puerto Rico
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 10, 1986, for the Milwaukee Brewers
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1988, for the Milwaukee Brewers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record32–25
Earned run average4.71
As player

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Playing career

Nieves was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers, with a $115,000 signing bonus, after he had a 19–1 win–loss record with a 1.05 earned run average (ERA) during his senior season at the Avon Old Farms school in Connecticut.[2]

On April 15, 1987, Nieves threw a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles, becoming the second-youngest player in Major League history to do so. He threw the only no-hitter for the Brewers until 2021.[3][4] Nieves' no-hitter became the first ever thrown by a Puerto Rican in Major League Baseball. Nieves was mostly a starter, but on September 5, 1988, he did earn his only career save against the White Sox. He threw one perfect inning, closing out a 5–2 Brewers victory and saving the game for starter Don August.[5]

After playing for the Brewers from 1986 to 1988, he suffered a career-ending arm injury.[2]

Coaching career

Nieves worked as a minor league pitching instructor for the New York Yankees (1992–1996) and the White Sox (1999–2007) before joining the Chicago White Sox Major League staff as the bullpen coach serving for the five seasons.[6] He was mentored by Don Cooper, first when Cooper was the White Sox' roving coordinator in their minor league hierarchy, and later when Cooper became the pitching coach of the Sox.[7] They became really close, adapting similar pitching styles and was named as "Cooper's right-hand man".[7] He was named Boston's 2013 pitching coach on November 7, 2012. He brought over Cooper's style of pitching to the Red Sox organization.[7] Nieves led the Red Sox to the second lowest earned run average in the American League as the team went on to win the World Series.[7] After the Red Sox earned the second highest team ERA (4.86) to start the 2015 season, Nieves was dismissed by the team on May 7, 2015.[8]

Nieves spent the next three seasons as pitching coach for the Miami Marlins, being dismissed after the 2018 season.[9]

On November 6, 2020, the Detroit Tigers named Nieves as the team's assistant pitching coach for the 2021 season.[10] Nieves had spent the previous two seasons as the pitching coach for the Toledo Mud Hens, the Tigers Triple-A affiliate.[11]

See also


  1. Costello, Rory. "Juan Nieves". Society for American Baseball Research.
  2. Edes, Gordon (February 20, 2013). "Juan Nieves' New England journey". ESPN. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  3. Flaherty, Tom (April 17, 1987). "Brewers' patience is rewarded". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. C1. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
  4. Haudricourt, Tom (October 23, 2013). "Former Brewer Juan Nieves in the middle of Boston's turnaround". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  5. "Chicago White Sox at Milwaukee Brewers Box Score, September 5, 1988". Baseball-Reference.com. September 5, 1988.
  6. Browne, Ian (November 7, 2012). "Nieves tabbed as Red Sox's new pitching coach". Boston Red Sox. MLB.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  7. MacPherson, Brian (August 30, 2013). "Juan Nieves has brought White Sox pitching program to Red Sox". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  8. Edes, Gordon (May 7, 2015). "Struggling Red Sox fire pitching coach Nieves". ESPN. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  9. Frisaro, Joe (October 8, 2018). "Marlins part ways with Nieves, 3 other coaches". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  10. Beck, Jason (November 6, 2020). "Tigers name new pitching coach". Detroit Tigers. MLB.com. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  11. "Former Mud Hens pitching coach Nieves named to Tigers' staff". Toledo Blade. November 6, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
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