Kevin Towers wants to hire Greg Maddux as Diamondbacks' new pitching coach

11 Comments

Kevin Towers said a whole bunch of interesting stuff during his introductory press conference as Diamondbacks’ general manager yesterday, including that he wants to bring in Greg Maddux as pitching coach or bench coach next season
“I told Greg two years ago as soon as you want to be on the field please make me the first call,” Towers said.
Throughout his Hall of Fame playing career Maddux was billed as “the smartest pitcher in baseball” and he was frequently spotted giving pitching lessons in the dugout, so if he’s interested in the job it certainly seems like a potentially excellent fit.
His brother, Mike Maddux, has been a pitching coach in Texas and Milwaukee, although according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today “the last Hall of Fame pitcher to be a pitching coach was Ferguson Jenkins for the Cubs in 1996.”
Mel Stottlemyre Jr. is currently in his second season as Arizona’s pitching coach and has spent the past nine years in the organization in some capacity, so he’s probably not thrilled to hear Maddux’s name come up for his job.

Teams still don’t know if three-batter minimum rule will be in effect for 2020

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Leave a comment

According to Athletics GM David Forst, Major League Baseball has still not informed teams whether or not the proposed three-batter-minimum rule will be in effect for the 2020 season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The league and the players’ union came to an agreement back in March regarding a handful of rule changes with the three-batter-minimum rule among them. From the way it was discussed, it seemed like it was set in stone. If Forst is unsure, then the league clearly hasn’t done a good job of communicating that.

Slusser notes that the A’s are operating as if the rule will be in effect, as the club non-tendered lefty Ryan Buchter earlier this week. Buchter has a career 2.86 ERA with 235 strikeouts in 214 innings, but the bulk of that success has come against left-handed hitters. This past season 115 of the 198 total plate appearances (58 percent) against Buchter were taken by fellow lefties. He held lefties to a .728 OPS compared to .904 against righties. As a result, despite Buchter’s overall terrific numbers, the A’s felt the roster spot could be more effectively used with a different player given the proposed rule.

Some teams may not make the same assumption as the A’s. What if a team keeps its lefty specialist(s) on the roster or goes out and acquires such a player, not knowing whether or not the rule is in effect for the upcoming season?

Since it has been brought up publicly, the issue will likely be resolved quickly and we should all have clarity on the rules for the 2020 season.