Maddux as pitching coach for the Washington Nationals in 2016
|Pitcher / Pitching coach|
August 27, 1961 |
|June 3, 1986, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 4, 2000, for the Houston Astros|
|Earned run average||4.05|
Michael Ausley Maddux (born August 27, 1961) is an American pitching coach and former professional baseball pitcher who played for nine teams over 15 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in MLB from 1986 through 2000 for the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Montreal Expos, and Houston Astros. Except for the Phillies, for whom he played during the first four seasons of his career, Maddux never played more than two seasons for any team.
Maddux currently serves as pitching coach of the Washington Nationals. He previously served in that capacity for the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers. The teams for which Maddux has coached have allowed significantly fewer runs to score than before his hire. While coaching for the Rangers, the pitching staff posted season earned run averages (ERA) lower than 4.00 for the first time since 1990, doing so for four consecutive seasons. The Nationals hired him after the 2015 season.
Beginning at the age of ten, Maddux received instruction in pitching from former Major League Baseball scout Ralph Meder. Maddux attended Rancho High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Cincinnati Reds selected him in the 36th round of the 1979 Major League Baseball draft, but he did not sign with the Reds, and enrolled at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), where he played college baseball for the UTEP Miners. The Philadelphia Phillies selected him in the fifth round of the 1982 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut in 1986. On September 29, he started a game against his brother, Greg and the Chicago Cubs, who was also a rookie. The Cubs defeated the Phillies. After the 1989 season, the Phillies released Maddux, and he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Granted free agency after the 1990 season, he contacted each team in seeking a tryout, which resulted in the San Diego Padres signing him. Maddux won a spot with the Padres as a relief pitcher. After the 1992 season, the Padres traded Maddux to the New York Mets for Roger Mason and Mike Freitas. He signed a two-year contract with the Mets, worth $2.375 million.
Granted free agency after the 1994 season, Maddux signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates released him on May 16. He signed with the Boston Red Sox on May 30, and then re-signed with the Red Sox as a free agent that offseason. The Red Sox released Maddux before the 1997 season, and he signed with the Seattle Mariners, who released him on July 23. The Padres signed him on August 19, but he did not pitch in the majors for the Padres that year. A free agent again, Maddux signed with the Montreal Expos, who released him on April 15, 1999. On April 24, he signed with the Dodgers. He signed with the Houston Astros for the 2000 season, but was released on July 5. During a 15-year baseball career, Maddux compiled 39 wins, 564 strikeouts, and a 4.05 earned run average.
After his retirement as a player, Maddux started his coaching career as a pitching coach in Minor League Baseball for the Houston Astros, first with the Round Rock Express. Beginning in 2003, Maddux spent six seasons as the pitching coach for the Milwaukee Brewers' major league club. During this time, the Brewers yielded an average of 77 fewer runs per season than they had in the previous seven. Pitcher C. C. Sabathia, one whom the Brewers acquired as part of a mid-season trade, had never had an ERA below 3.00 in any season in his except the one where he played a half-season in Milwaukee.
The Texas Rangers hired Maddux as their pitching coach prior to the 2009 season. Maddux later recounted one of his first conversations with then-president and former Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan. Ryan commented that he wanted to change the culture and perception that pitching for the Rangers was extremely difficult. "Do it, or else" was the challenge he gave Maddux. In 2008, the Rangers' pitching staff produced a 5.37 ERA, the worst in the American League (AL), and from 2000–08, also produced an AL-worst 5.14 ERA. The Rangers had not completed a season with a team ERA below 4.00 since 1990, and in 15 seasons playing at Globe Life Park in Arlington, their ERA was 5.04. In the previous 11 seasons before his arrival, they had given up 888 runs a season.
After his first season as pitching coach with Texas, the club's ERA dropped nearly one full run (0.99). In 2011, when the Rangers went to the World Series for the second consecutive season, they lacked star pitching. The rotation was composed primarily of C. J. Wilson, with a 6.02 ERA when Maddux arrived; Colby Lewis, who had just pitched in Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan; Scott Feldman, and Tommy Hunter. During Maddux' time with the Rangers, club won 612 games, third-most in the AL, and achieved a collective ERA of 4.04, including four consecutive seasons below 4.00. From 2010–13, their ERA was 3.83, third-lowest in the AL. They trimmed the average number of runs allowed in his six years to 707. Five pitchers became All-Stars in Maddux' tenure: Yu Darvish, Neftalí Feliz, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando, and Wilson. The Rangers reached the postseason four times and won two AL pennants.
During the 2011 offseason, he was a manager candidate for the Cubs after they had fired Mike Quade. He was a candidate to manage the Astros after they fired Bo Porter. He was also considered for the Red Sox managerial position, but he withdrew himself from consideration.
When Jeff Banister became the Rangers' manager during the 2014–15 offseason, Maddux agreed to stay with the Rangers for one more season. His contract with the Rangers expired after the 2015 season, and they discussed a new contract. Maddux explored options with other teams while the Rangers considered hiring a successor. The Rangers decided to hire a candidate from their interviews rather than making Maddux a formal offer.
Maddux was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1961 to Dave and Linda Maddux. Dave served in the United States Air Force, and was stationed in Taiwan when Mike was a toddler. Mike's younger brother, Greg, was born in San Angelo, Texas, in 1966. The Madduxes then moved to North Dakota, California, Madrid, and lived in Indiana during the Vietnam War, before settling in Las Vegas.
- Todd DeweyLAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. "Maddux brothers share wisdom". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
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- Boswell, Thomas (February 25, 2016). "Hiring Mike Maddux might be the Nationals' smartest offseason move". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
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- Nightengale, Bob (November 4, 2015). "Nationals hire Mike Maddux as pitching coach". USA Today. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
- Kerr, Byron (November 4, 2015). "Mike Maddux named Nationals pitching coach". Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
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- "Texas Rangers: Rangers GM Jon Daniels explains Mike Maddux separation, offseason plan – SportsDay". SportsDay. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
- Janes, Chelsea (November 4, 2015). "Nationals hire Mike Maddux as pitching coach". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
- TEGNA. "Mike Maddux out as Rangers pitching coach". WFAA. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
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