Angels pick Nagy for pitching coach

Longtime Indians starter signed to two-year contract

Angels pick Nagy for pitching coach

ANAHEIM -- The Angels have decided on Charles Nagy as their new pitching coach, signing the former All-Star and longtime Indians linchpin to a two-year contract on Monday.

Nagy was one of four candidates who sat down for face-to-face interviews with general manager Billy Eppler, manager Mike Scioscia and special assistant Marcel Lachemann over the last few weeks. Nagy interviewed last Monday and was offered the job seven days later, replacing Mike Butcher in what will ultimately be a reconfigured coaching staff.

"He checked a lot of boxes," said Eppler, who wouldn't name the other candidates out of respect to their situations. "He's very mindful and thoughtful in his approach. He understands what he wants to do; what he wants, or expects, from his playing personnel. Just his demeanor and his general nature is something that attracted us to him, as well."

Three weeks earlier, Butcher was let go -- along with veteran hitting coach Don Baylor -- after nine seasons as the Angels' pitching coach. Butcher is now the D-backs' pitching coach, a post Nagy held for three years until getting dismissed at the end of the 2013 season.

The Angels are expected to announce the rest of their coaching staff in the coming days. Dave Hansen, who served as an assistant under Baylor the past two seasons, is expected to be promoted to hitting coach. Other role changes are expected, as well.

Nagy will spend the next three months getting to know the Angels' pitchers.

"My philosophy is like any other pitching coach's philosophy -- of throwing strikes, working ahead, working fast," Nagy said in a phone interview. "What I need to do right now, in this next week, is just touch base and build relationships, build trust with these guys. Just build a good working relationship from day one until we get into the season. That's the most important -- treat everybody as individuals and work with the players, let everyone know that I'm there with them, and just try to show my experience and my passion for pitching and baseball."

Nagy, 48, pitched in the big leagues from 1990 to 2003, spending 13 of those 14 years in Cleveland. He made the All-Star team three times, won 129 games and was an important piece to the dominant Indians teams of the 1990s, pitching in the postseason for five straight years and appearing in two World Series.

Nagy was a pitching coach for the Angels' Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City from 2006-07 and with the Indians' Triple-A affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, in '10. He was hired as the Major League pitching coach in Arizona for the following season, but was removed from then-manager Kirk Gibson's staff on Oct. 8, 2013.

Nagy -- a native of Connecticut -- then helped the Indians as a Spring Training coach in 2014 and spent the 2015 season as a special assistant to player development, working with young pitchers throughout the organization's Minor League system.

Jered Weaver, entering the final year of his contract, pitched under Nagy in Triple-A. Tyler Skaggs, coming off spending an entire year recovering from Tommy John surgery, had him in Arizona.

Skaggs called Nagy "very laid-back" and said he's "very knowledgeable about the game." Eppler described him as "calm and thoughtful," adding that he's "heard phenomenal things about his ability to communicate."

The D-backs showed marked improvement in Nagy's first year in 2011, winning 94 games in large part due to the strength of their pitching staff. Ian Kennedy developed into a Cy Young candidate and the bullpen made major strides, going from 30th to 18th in WHIP in just one season.

But Arizona then sported a .500 record in back-to-back years. The young Patrick Corbin developed nicely, but some veterans -- namely, Brandon McCarthy, Joe Saunders, Heath Bell and, ultimately, Kennedy -- struggled. Upon dismissing Nagy, then-GM Kevin Towers said he wanted more toughness out of his pitchers. He wanted them to establish the inside part of the plate and sought a pitching coach who was going to "chew a little rear end when needed," prompting Towers to hire Mike Harkey.

Asked what he learned about his time with the D-backs, Nagy said: "Just being open."

"And listening," he added. "The importance of listening to the players and the pitchers, and what they're trying to do. And just communication. Talking to them, asking them what they're doing, what's going on on a daily basis. I think that's probably the most important thing, just that open line of communication and building relationships."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.