Atchison Joins Cleveland Coaching Staff as Bullpen Coach
Bob Toth | On 02, Nov 2017
The coaching shakeup in Cleveland found some resolution with the addition of the 41-year-old Atchison, who had spent the past two seasons working as a Major League Advance Coach and Staff Assistant. Atchison pitched for the Indians in 2014 and 2015 in his last games in the Majors.
The Indians have lost three coaches already this offseason, with the most notable and significant departure being pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who was hired last week as manager of the New York Mets. His role was filled by veteran pitching coach Carl Willis, who rejoined the Indians organization once again in the capacity of the team’s pitching coach, a role he held from 2003 to 2009 on the staff of former Tribe skipper Eric Wedge.
The Indians’ former bullpen coach, Jason Bere, has left the organization after three years in that role. He was also a part of the Tribe’s pitching staff in two separate stints in 2000 and 2003 and worked as a special assistant for the team for nine years. He interviewed earlier this week for the vacant pitching coach position on Callaway’s staff with the Mets, one that has since been filled.
Atchison will roll his post-playing experience into his new position with the Tribe. Per the team’s press release announcing the addition of Atchison to Francona’s staff, he spent the past two seasons assisting the Indians’ advance scouting process, which included providing analysis of opponents and working with the pitching coaches on a daily basis.
“Old Man Atch” spent parts of nine seasons working at the Major League level while appearing in 298 games (all but one in relief). He debuted at the big league level in 2004 with the Seattle Mariners and spent parts of two seasons in their bullpen. He was back in the Majors with the San Francisco Giants for 22 games in 2007 and later reemerged in 2010 with the Boston Red Sox as part of Francona’s bullpen after two seasons with Hanshin of the Japan Central League. He spent three seasons in Boston and spent one year with the New York Mets in 2013, appearing in a then-career-high 50 games.
He signed with the Indians as a non-roster camp invitee in 2014 and made the Tribe’s roster at the end of spring training. He put together his best big league season that year, going 6-0 with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in 70 games. He spent part of the 2015 season in the Indians bullpen, working around injury and pitching in 23 games before his release. He signed on with the Minnesota Twins afterwards and pitched in four games for their Double-A club over a two-week span before calling it a career.
A 49th round draft pick by the Mariners in the 1998 June Amateur draft, Atchison spent parts of 17 seasons playing professionally.
Photo: Rick Yeatts/Getty Images