Maddux is returning to the franchise where he served as pitching coach under Ron Washington form 2009-15. Bochy is in his first season with the Rangers. With the San Francisco Giants, Bochy had former Yankees pitcher Dave Righetti as his pitching coach for most of his tenure.
Maddux and Bochy have never worked together. Their playing careers did overlap in 1986 and 1987, and the pair did appear in one game against each other. But Bochy, a backup catcher, didn’t face Maddux, then a rookie starting pitcher.
With that in mind, Bochy made his first public comments about the hiring during his press conference at the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego.
“Huge,” Bochy said of adding Maddux to his staff. “I mean, he's got history there. He had success there. He's had success wherever he's gone. Mike, he's just considered one of the best pitching coaches in the game. And with his experience, knowledge and his success, this is just a great fit.”
Maddux inherits a staff that quickly got better after he took the job last month. The Rangers signed former Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom on Friday, which makes him the staff’s ace. After that, the Rangers have three other veteran starters signed for at least 2023 — Martín Pérez, Jon Gray and Jake Odorizzi. Texas is also on the lookout to sign one more veteran starter.
Some of that focus is because the Rangers have had difficulty developing young starting pitching. While half of the Rangers’ Top 30 prospects have been pitchers, only Cole Ragans made the move from to the Rangers rotation last season. Others, such as Cole Winn, Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker, need at least one more season to develop in the minors.
Bochy said there is alignment between how he wants to develop pitchers and how Maddux wants to develop pitchers. Maddux said last week that his pitchers that can command at least two pitches in the strike zone, including the fastball.
Bochy believes Maddux can be a difference-maker in getting that done.
“(We’re) very similar, very similar,” Bochy said. “We balance the information, the data. But we also believe in trusting our eyes and also staying with some things that you need to stay with in baseball. And those are the basics — fundamentals, things like that, throwing strikes, fielding your position — things that are very important, playing winning baseball. So we're very aligned with that.”
The Rangers have kept their coaching staff remarkably intact since firing manager Chris Woodward in August.
Maddux replaced last season’s co-pitching coaches, Doug Mathis and Brendan Sagara. Mathis was let go while Sagara was re-assigned in the organization.
The rest of the Rangers’ coaching staff from 2022 remains the same, with interim manager Tony Beasley moving back to third base coach. The only addition to the coaching staff is the hiring in Will Venable, who is joining the Rangers as an associate manager for 2023.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard