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Cardinals Coaching Staff Changes Completed with Mike Maddux Addition

Cardinals Coaching Staff A.J. Cole/ via


Cardinals Coaching Staff Changes

The Cardinals coaching staff changes came quickly entering the offseason.  John Mozeliak and company made news earlier in the week by announcing that Jose Oquendo will rejoin the Major League staff next season.  They also announced that former Cardinal center fielder, Willie McGee, will have a coaching position with the big club as well.  There has been no role specified for McGee at this time.

Then, yesterday, they made another splash, by hiring veteran pitching coach Mike Maddux.  Maddux will replace Derek Liliquist on the Cardinals’ staff next season.  He spent the last two seasons with the Washington Nationals, and was with the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers before his time in D.C.

Mike Maddux

Brother of Hall-of-Famer Greg Maddux, Mike has had a successful career of his own.  He pitched in the big leagues for 15 solid seasons, but is best known for his accomplishments as a coach, most notably with the Rangers and then the Nationals.

With the Rangers

While he was with the Rangers from 2009-2015, he was a part of four playoff teams, including back-to-back World Series appearances.  In his first year, he lowered the team’s ERA from 5.37 in 2008, to 4.38 in ’09.  In 2013, he had the team ERA all the way down to 3.62.  He was able to do all of that in a very hitter friendly Rangers Ballpark.

With the Nationals

Maddux spent two seasons, 2016 and 2017, in the Nation’s Capitol, where he went to the postseason two more times.  In 2016, he helped Max Scherxer to the Cy Young Award, and his entire staff set franchise records in strikeouts (1,476) and opponent’s batting average (.234).  This past season, the Nationals had a 3.88 ERA, good enough for sixth best in all of baseball.  They also ranked seventh in strikeouts, with 1,457.  Bob Nightengale, of USA Today, called Maddux, “the best pitching coach in America,” while he was on The Kevin Wheeler Show, Friday.

What it Means for the Cardinals

Bringing in Mike Maddux appears to be a very good decision by the Cardinals.  He was arguably the best pitching coach available, especially since Chicago seems to be the most likely landing spot for Jim Hickey.  Former minor league pitching coach of 15 years, Brian Eversgerd will take on the role of bullpen coach.  The addition of these two, along with returning Jose Oquendo to third base, and bringing in McGee, have already made the Cardinals’ coaching staff one of the best in baseball, for 2018.

There also seems to be a sense of urgency within the organization.  They made sure to address their coaching staff issues well before free agency opens up, and the true offseason begins.  This will allow them to be 100 percent focused on improving the roster, once the World Series comes to a close.  It is difficult to put a number on how much better the Cardinals have already become by hiring Maddux, and re-assigning the other coaches to the big league staff, but they are, without a doubt, already in a better position to win next season, based on their coaching staff.