Aug 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitching coach Mike Harkey reacts against the St. Louis Cardinals at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
One day after the regular season ended, the Arizona Diamondbacks have announced that pitching coach Mike Harkey was let go after two seasons, per Joey Nowak at mlb.com. In 2015, the group finished with a 4.04 ERA, ninth in the National League and tenth, tenth and eleventh respectively in WHIP, walk-to-strikeout ration and quality starts. Harkey was the only coach that was not retained from this year’s staff.
Manager Chip Hale had this to say about Harkey, as tweeted by Steve Gilbert at mlb.com.
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I’m not sure how to react to this. The hands Harkey had to deal with in two seasons weren’t great. The team lost Patrick Corbin and David Hernandez before the 2014 season began and then Bronson Arroyo later. This year, he had to deal with a bunch of starters who had never previously pitched a complete season in the Major Leagues before. The bullpen performed reasonably well with a setup man moving to closer in Brad Ziegler, a rookie being the most dependable arm in the ‘pen (outside of Ziegler) in Andrew Chafin and a pitcher coming off two Tommy John surgeries to be a primary setup man in Daniel Hudson. 79 wins out of this group was pretty impressive. Based on this, I thought Harkey did an admirable job.
Bullpen coach Mel Stottlemyre, Jr is not guaranteed to be the next pitching coach but is being considered for the position.
In other D-backs’ job-related news, former third base coach Matt Williams was fired after two seasons with the Washington Nationals. Despite him seemingly having lost the clubhouse, it will take a lot more than simply changing managers in order to straighten out the Nats.