Rangers hire Mike Maddux as pitching coach

Former Royals GM Dayton Moore added to staff as senior advisor

November 23rd, 2022

ARLINGTON -- “I'm not old school or new school. It's just really about the right school,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said at his end-of-season press conference about the search for a big league pitching coach.

As much as baseball -- and pitching in particular -- has changed with technology and analytics in recent years, Young was specific about the type of coaches he wanted when he filled out the staff alongside newly hired manager Bruce Bochy.

The Major League staff continues to fill out, and another big step was taken when the Rangers announced they'd hired Mike Maddux as their pitching coach on Wednesday.

“Mike was amongst some very good other qualified candidates and we felt going through the process that Mike stood out for a number of reasons,” Young said. “Ultimately, his familiarity and [Bochy’s] comfort level, we felt like he was the right fit for what we need right now. We're very excited to welcome him back to the organization. I'm looking forward to what's ahead.”

Maddux, brother of Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, has been a big league pitching coach for the past 20 years. He spent the past five years in St. Louis but stepped down at the end of the 2022 season. Before that, he made stops with the Brewers (2003-08), a first stint with the Rangers under then-manager Ron Washington (2009-15) and the Nationals (2015-17). Maddux coached Max Scherzer to two Cy Young Awards during his time with Washington.

Maddux was the second longest tenured pitching coach in Rangers history during his first stint with the club, second to only Tom House (1985-92). During that time, Texas collected back-to-back American League pennants in 2010-11 and made two additional postseason appearances. The club also posted four consecutive seasons of sub-4.00 team ERAs from ‘10-13 under Maddux.

“Mike has a tremendous track record of being a successful pitching coach in the Major Leagues,” Young said. “He’s obviously been the most successful coach in Rangers history in my opinion, and I think that all of his attributes and skills are going to serve us extremely well.”

In 2022, the Cardinals’ Maddux-led pitching staff ranked 10th in MLB with a 3.79 ERA, while the Rangers' staff struggled to finish 22nd (4.22). Texas’ staff in 2022 was largely carried by American League All-Star Martín Pérez (2.89 ERA) and Jon Gray, who posted a 3.96 ERA despite struggling with injuries. No other Texas starter had an ERA under 4.00. Meanwhile, three St. Louis starters (min. 100 IP) finished with ERAs under 4.00.

The Rangers also finished 15-35 in one-run games in 2022, largely due to bullpen struggles down the stretch. Texas relievers ranked 12th in MLB in ERA (3.72) and 22nd in BB/9 (3.70).

Texas' last two pitching coaches were first-timers at the big league level. Maddux brings two decades of experience to the table for a team intent on contending in 2023.

“There's a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that comes with experience that a percentage of coaches don't have,” Young said. “It doesn't mean that we didn't consider first-time candidates, because I think there are some very, very talented first-time candidates out there and we certainly kicked the tires on a number of first-time candidates. That said, I think we evaluated our needs right now and the opportunity to bring somebody with Mike's experience into our organization. We felt like it was a great fit, and we're thrilled to have him.”

Young noted earlier in the offseason that he would like to develop a full “pitching department,” and he could add multiple positions to the big league staff to encompass that. The Rangers still need to hire pitching coaches at the Double-A and Triple-A levels as well.

The Rangers' big league staff now consists of third-base coach Tony Beasley, first-base coach Corey Ragsdale, catching coordinator Bobby Wilson, offensive coordinator/bench coach Donnie Ecker, and hitting coaches Tim Hyers and Seth Conner.

Texas also hired former Royals general manager Dayton Moore as senior advisor, baseball operations. According to a team press release, Moore will “collaborate with Young and the other senior members of the baseball leadership group on all aspects of the operation, including Major League player evaluation, scouting and player development.”

“I think first and foremost, he’s just a tremendous person,” Young said. “He's someone that has been a mentor to me, even when I was a player. He’s someone I've gone to in this role, just for advice. To have the opportunity to work with somebody that I respect supplementally is just tremendous. I could not be more grateful to Dayton for choosing the Rangers. 

“I know he had no shortage of opportunities both inside the game and outside the game and the fact that he chose to come to Texas, I could not be happier. I know he's going to serve our organization extremely well and will provide wisdom and knowledge and experience and advice, not only for me, but for really everybody in our organization. He is all in and committed to winning. He believes in what we're doing and I couldn't be happier to have him on board.”