Kline relishing life as Minor League pitching coach

Former Major League reliever enjoying role even more than playing

Kline relishing life as Minor League pitching coach

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Anybody who knew Steve Kline during his 11-year Major League career as a reliever would use the term "fun-loving" to describe him. Though Kline has entered the coaching realm, he's having more fun than ever.

Kline, who was promoted from Class A Augusta to Double-A Richmond as pitching coach, is in his first Major League camp in a coach's role. He's helping guide the pitchers, many of whom performed for him during his six years at Augusta or are about to join him at Richmond.

"I love it," Kline said Sunday of coaching. "I actually think I enjoy it more than playing. It's been more of a challenge because you have to deal with all of the personalities."

Kline said he mentally absorbs the observations made by pitching coach Dave Righetti, bullpen coach Mark Gardner and first-base coach Billy Hayes, the former bullpen catcher. He cited the influence of others who coached him, such as Dave Duncan and former relief ace Fred Gladding. Kline also expressed gratitude toward those who have worked alongside him, such as Bert Bradley, the Giants' coordinator of Minor League pitching.

"I took a piece from every single guy," said Kline, who concluded his active career by pitching for the Giants from 2006-07.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.