Why Mike Maddux Will be the Biggest Offseason Acquisition

Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux pulled himself from the BoSox managerial position and the Chicago Cubs did the Rangers a favor and hired Dale Sveum. This is a day to rejoice for Ranger’s fans. Mike Maddux came to the Rangers in 2009 and inherited a pitching staff, that was under-talented, under-utilized and under-valued.

In 2008, the Rangers pitching staff had and ERA of 5.37, with a WHIP of 1.58, (that’s walks and hits/per inning pitched). In 2009 that went to a 4.38 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Then to 2010, to a 3.93 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. 2011, you ask? 3.79 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. A lot of people will tell you that Mike Maddux has been a soldier of good fortune and that the argument is that the pitching staff also got much better. I agree with that assessment. But to give you and idea of how much Mike Maddux means to his pitchers, I present this:

In 2008, Kevin Millwood started 29 games. He has a record of 9-10 with a 5.07 ERA, and a 1.59 WHIP. In 2009, Millwood started 31 games, went 13-10, had an ERA of 3.67 and a WHIP of 1.34. Coincidence you say? Not so much. If you don’t believe me, look at Scott Feldman’s stats over the same time period.

The value of Mike Maddux cannot be placed solely on statistics, but on attitude. He has willed his pitchers to be better that they were before. Have there been breakdowns? Certainly, and in the most crucial times this past year. But that is not a knock on the pitching coach. Mike Maddux and Nolan Ryan are on the same page as far as pitching goes. Go long and hard. And you can see it in this staff. Holland, Harrison, Ogando, etc. They want to finish what they start.

This man, Mike Maddux has brought to the Texas Rangers what nobody has seen before, in an entire staff. We have had it before in the shape of Nolan Ryan, but he was only one man. Now we have an entire staff going for the same outcome every night. The starters, the middle relieivers and the late inning men all have the sane goal. WIN!.

No matter the cost or number of pitchers used in a game, they are out to do the best they can do. No half-assed, “I don’t feel like it tonight” games like before. This is a different attitude, a different staff, a different team. The staff will continue to thrive, with or without CJ Wilson, Mark Buehrle, or Yu Darvish.

Patrick Despain
Patrick is a member of the IBWAA and creator of Shutdown Inning. He was raised him Arlington, Texas and grew up watching games on HSE and listening to Eric Nadel and Mark Holtz on the radio. He is a long time Rangers fan and never achieved his dream of being a bat boy. He know lives in Georgia with dreams of a Texas return.

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