OAKLAND, Calif. — Bob Melvin is bringing back a familiar face to guide the Oakland Athletics’ pitchers.

Pitching coach Curt Young is leaving the Boston Red Sox to return to Oakland and work under Melvin, who received a three-year deal in September to be the club’s permanent manager.

The A’s announced Friday that Young had signed a one-year deal to rejoin the club that originally drafted him in the fourth round in 1981.

Melvin won’t have to worry one bit about Young getting up to speed with the staff. The A’s figured the timing was right to reach out to Young with the uncertainty of Boston’s field staff after manager Terry Francona was let go last month.

“It’s great for a number of reasons,” Melvin said in a phone interview Friday. “One, his history with the organization and he is one of the more respected pitching coaches in the game. We knew it would be difficult to get him but we thought it was a good time to ask. We’re thrilled to get him. His familiarity with the organization and the pitchers was a comfort for me.”

The 51-year-old Young, who pitched 10 of his 11 big-league seasons for the A’s, left Oakland last year for a stint in Boston after spending 23 years in the A’s organization. He guided the 2010 group that had an AL-best 3.56 ERA and a league-leading 17 shutouts while holding opponents to a .245 batting average.

During Young’s tenure from 2004-2010, A’s pitchers led the American League with a 4.03 ERA and held opponents to an AL-low .257 average while allowing the fewest home runs (1,062) in the league.

Young spent four years as a minor league coach in the organization before becoming pitching coach.
Melvin and Young spent a short time as teammates during the 1992 season with Kansas City. They have golfed together, too.

“This move provides Bob with not only an experienced pitching coach on his staff but also someone who has a lot of experience specifically with the organization and with the pitchers on this team,” assistant general manager David Forst said. “On a personal level, Curt has always been well-liked by everyone in Oakland, and it’ll be nice to have him back on our side this season.”

Also Friday, the A’s said they named Mike Henriques strength and conditioning coach for 2012.

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