The St. Louis Cardinals’ search for a pitching coach has reached its end.
The team announced in a release Thursday that it had hired Mike Maddux, who has spent the last two seasons with the Washington Nationals.
Carlyle native Bryan Eversgerd also was promoted from Triple-A Memphis to serve as the team’s bullpen coach. As the Triple-A pitching coach last season, he helped lead the Redbirds to the Pacific Coast League championships.
“We are very excited to welcome Mike to the Cardinals organization,” Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said. “We also look forward to giving Bryan Eversgerd a well-deserved opportunity on our major league staff.”
Washington fired manager Dusty Baker on Oct. 20 and has since announced it would let his assistants’ contracts expire as well. Still, there was some speculation in Washington media that Maddux could be retained.
Maddux, 56, pitched 15 years in the major leagues, spending four seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies before moving on to eight other clubs. He went right to work as a pitching coach, beginning in the Houston Astros’ minor league system. He has since worked for the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.
Maddux has a reputation for turning pitchers into All-Stars, notably Yu Darvish and Neftali Feliz when they were with the Rangers.
In 2011, five pitchers on his staff in Texas won at least 13 games, with C.J. Wilson and Derek Holland leading the rotation to the American League Championship. The Rangers eventually lost the World Series to the Cardinals in seven games.
The 2016 Nationals squad set a franchise record with 1,476 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .234 batting average, also the best in club history.
In 2017, the Nationals ranked sixth among Major League Baseball pitching staffs in ERA (3.88), while ranking seventh in strikeouts. As pitching coach with the Rangers, the team posted four of its top seven win totals, their top four strikeout totals in franchise history from 2010-13 and dropped their ERA from 5.37 to 4.38 in his first season with the club.
In 2013, the Rangers bullpen posted their lowest ERA in club history at 2.89.
Maddux also has worked with Stephen Strasburg in Washington, and is the older brother of Baseball Hall of Famer and 300-game winner Greg Maddux.
Mike Maddux replaces Derek Lilliquist, who was informed his contract would not be renewed Oct. 3. Lilliquist had been with the Cardinals organization since 2002 and became major league pitching coach in 2012.
The Cardinals announced Monday that Jose Oquendo would return as third base coach and that former outfielder Willie McGee would be added to their on-field staff. The announcement drew many positive reactions from fans.