Former Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Butcher hired by D-Backs, tab Charles Nagy to fill void.
Former Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher did not have to wait long to get another job as was hired to be the new pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. Butcher had been the Los Angeles Angels pitching coach from 2006 until 2015, but his contract was not renewed by the Angels after the 2015 season. During Butcher’s tenure in Anaheim the Angels made the playoffs four times and the team was in the top 10 in ERA three times during Butcher’s tenure as Angels pitching coach. Butcher will replace Mike Harkey who was fired after two season with the Diamondbacks.
Butcher’s replacement on the Los Angeles Angels coaching staff is former Diamondbacks pitching coach Charles Nagy, who has been working recently in the Cleveland Indians organization as special assistant to player development. Bud Black, who was the Angels pitching coach preceding Butcher, was said to be the top choice to fill the Angels vacancy at pitching coach, however Black was thought to be hired as the manager for the Washington Nationals before talks broke down over the weekend. Other potential candidates that had been mentioned is Steve McCatty which was the former Nationals’ pitching coach, as well as Mike Maddux who was the long-time pitching coach of the Texas Rangers. However, Nagy a three-time all-star with the Indians ended up being the Angels choice to replace Butcher.
Nagy will have some tough decisions to make now that he has been hired to lead the Los Angeles Angels pitching staff. First and foremost will be what five pitchers that will be in the Los Angeles Angels rotation when the 2016 season begins. The Angels have seven pitchers on their roster who started at least five games in 2015. Plus Tyler Skaggs should be at full strength when Spring Training starts as well. Skaggs has been out since the middle of 2014 after having Tommy John surgery. Skaggs, who was reacquired by the Angels in a trade that saw them give up first baseman Mark Trumbo while gaining Skaggs and Hector Santiago in return.
Santiago and Garrett Richards should be locks to be in the rotation when the 2016 season starts. Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson both should also have spots in the rotation as both are in their final years of their contracts and are slated to earn 18 million dollars a piece in 2016. Wilson, who had season-ending elbow surgery in September might not be quite ready when 2016 starts, but when he is healthy he figures to be in the rotation as well. That leaves one spot for either rookie sensation Andrew Heaney or Skaggs. Most likely left on the outside looking in is Matt Shoemaker who struggled in 2015 going 7-10 with 4.46 ERA and rookie Nick Tropeano who went 3-2 with a 3.82 ERA in seven starts and one relief appearance. The other questions outside the starting rotation will be who to keep in the bullpen, and also whether or not to bring back Shoemaker as a reliever if he indeed does not make the rotation, and whether not to add Tropeano to the bullpen mix or have him start out the season in Triple-A.
Hopefully the Los Angeles Angels front office, manager Mike Scioscia and Nagy will work hand in hand, so they can start building a staff that will help take the Angels back to the post-season in 2016.
Next: Nagy is the Angels choice
Tyler Skaggs hopes to be back in the Los Angeles Angels rotation in 2016 after missing the whole 2015 due to an arm injury Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports