Rangers to replace Maddux as pitching coach
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have informed pitching coach Mike Maddux that he will not be back in 2016, the club announced on Thursday. His brother, Greg Maddux, will also not be returning as a special assistant.
Mike Maddux was originally among six coaches who were invited back after the season was over, when it was announced that hitting coach Dave Magadan and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins were leaving the organization.
Mike Maddux was also given permission to consider other options. As he did so and time passed, the Rangers apparently did the same, and they came to the decision that they would look for a new pitching coach.
"There was a period of time where Mike was looking around, and we did the same," general manager Jon Daniels said. "As we talked internally, we did an internal review of what was best for the organization going forward. As we talked it through, we felt like there was an opportunity to get better with a new voice in that role."
Minor League pitching coordinator Danny Clark is a strong candidate to fill that role. The Rangers have also interviewed Triple-A pitching coach Brad Holman and Double-A pitching coach Jeff Andrews.
They will also look outside the organization, and the possibilities include former pitching coaches Steve McCatty of the Nationals and Mike Harkey of the D-backs. Pirates bullpen coach Euclides Rojas and Tom Prince, who is their Triple-A pitching coach, could be of interest given manager Jeff Banister's strong connection to that organization.
The decision caught Mike Maddux by surprise. He had been the Rangers' pitching coach for the past seven seasons.
"My time in Texas was great," Maddux said. "I'll miss it. I made a lot of good friends and helped develop a winning culture. I'll miss the people at the ballpark, from security guards to ushers, clubhouse kids, trainers, strength coaches. I've made a lot of good friends in that clubhouse throughout the years."
Rangers pitcher Derek Holland said he was caught totally off-guard by the unexpected announcement.
"Maddux taught me a lot about pitching," Holland said. "I loved working with him as far as scouting, how to attack hitters, how to prepare myself and how to throw my bullpens. To lose him will have a huge impact. I guess [the Rangers made the decision] for a reason and have something else in mind, but it caught me by surprise."
Maddux was hired from the Brewers after the 2008 season to take over a pitching staff that had a combined ERA of 5.14 ERA from '00-08 that was the highest in the American League during that period. During Maddux's seven years with the Rangers, his pitchers had a 4.06 ERA, good for sixth-best in the AL. Their 3.83 ERA from '10-13 was the third-best among AL staffs, and pitchers C.J. Wilson, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando, Neftali Feliz and Yu Darvish all became All-Stars.
"I want to recognize and thank Mike for his work," Daniels said. "He is as hard of a worker and as conscientious of a coach as I have been around. He was a huge and critical part of our success. I only have positive things to say about him."
Daniels spoke with Greg Maddux after making the decision on his brother. Greg informed Daniels that he would step down as special assistant, a job he has held for the past four seasons.
"He was gracious and understanding," Daniels said. "As expected, due to their relationship, Greg felt it was best not to return to the organization. I totally understand that decision."
The Rangers are still in the process of looking for a hitting coach and a bullpen coach. They have interviewed Triple-A hitting coach Justin Mashore and Minor League hitting coordinator Dwayne Murphy for the one spot. The search for a bullpen coach will likely be put on hold until the pitching coach is hired.