Dave Duncan, who was manager Tony La Russa's pitching coach with the St. Louis Cardinals for 16 seasons, on Thursday was hired as the Arizona Diamondbacks' pitching consultant and special assistant to General Manager Kevin Towers.
Several media outlets reported Duncan's hire. Duncan will oversee the pitching in the entire Arizona organization and have input in hiring the new Diamondbacks pitching coach. Charles Nagy was fired by Towers after the season.
Duncan, 68, took a leave of absence during the 2011 season to be with his wife, Jeanine, who was battling brain cancer. He did return to the Cardinals for their World Series title run, but left the team again after its conclusion.
That leave of absence extended throughout the 2012 season, when Duncan still was under contract with the Cardinals.
Jeanine Duncan died on June 6 of this year at age 64.
Towers said earlier this week that he was eager to add Duncan to the Arizona organization.
"I'd like this to happen sooner rather than later because I'd like to have him involved next week as part of the interview process for a pitching coach," Towers told mlb.com. "Gibby (Arizona manager Kirk Gibson) is going to be back on Monday. We've gotten permission to talk to four or five guys externally, as well as a couple of internal candidates who we haven't reached out to yet. Hopefully, we'll have one hired by the end of next week."
Duncan was first approached by Towers about becoming the Diamondbacks' pitching coach, but Duncan said he wasn't ready, according to reports.
Duncan also was La Russa's pitching coach with the Chicago White Sox and Oakland A's before following La Russa to St. Louis. Duncan has overseen four Cy Young Award winners: LaMarr Hoyt with the White Sox (1983), Bob Welch (1990) and Dennis Eckersley (1992) with Oakland and Chris Carpenter with the Cardinals (2005).