Aaron Gleeman

Nationals “likely” to hire Mike Maddux as pitching coach

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Last week pitching coach Mike Maddux told the Rangers he wanted to shop around rather than re-signing for an eighth season in Texas and now we know why, as Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Maddux is “likely” to be hired by the Nationals.

Maddux has long been considered one of the game’s best pitching coaches and during his seven-season run in Texas the Rangers ranked sixth among American League teams in ERA despite playing in a very hitter-friendly ballpark.

Now he’ll work under new manager Dusty Baker and try to get the most out of a star-studded pitching staff that includes Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Jonathan Papelbon. Baker’s reputation for handling pitchers is shaky, but given Maddux’s track record it seems likely he’ll have most of the control over the staff.

Texas is expected to replace Maddux with Doug Brocail, who spent this year as a Double-A pitching coach in the Astros’ farm system.