After a season in which the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitching staff posted a 17th-ranked ERA that cost Charles Nagy his job as the pitching coach, the team has apparently settled on a new direction with its coaching staff.
#Dbacks to name Mike Harkey pitching coach, sources with knowledge say. Monday announcement likely.
— Jack Magruder (@JackMagruder) November 28, 2013
This is a bit of an odd move on the surface, given that the team presumably ponied up some serious money to secure former Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan as a “special assistant”, but I suppose it makes some since due to the fact that Harkey has never been a pitching coach at this level. Before this reported hiring, Harkey was the bullpen coach with the Yankees for the last 5 seasons, but this is a new challenge.
In Harkey’s favor, Arizona already has some talent in the starting rotation. Patrick Corbin arrived on the scene as a potential ace last season, and he’ll be supported by Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley, and a deep pool of other candidates for the five spots. I wouldn’t necessarily predict a top-10 ERA next season, but an improvement from 3.92 in 2013 should be a given unless disaster strikes in the bullpen.