A name familiar to many loyal Tribe fans that didn’t jump on the bandwagon recently. He was the pitching coach for the Indians from 2003-2009 and helped groom the likes of C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee.
With the departure of former pitching coach Mickey Callaway to the Mets to take on their managerial duties, the spot opened up and the Tribe wanted a familiar face to fill the void.
With Willis as pitching coach, the Indians made it one game away from the World Series in 2007. The Indians were 5th in the league that year with a team 4.05 ERA en-route to a 96-66 record and an AL Central division crown.
The only time you see a pitching coach during the in-game action is when the guy on the mound is struggling. However, he is the man that works on the intricacies involved with command, delivery and composure while we are all working our day jobs.
Carl Willis played in the MLB as a relief pitcher for 11 years with the Tigers, Reds, White Sox and Twins. He started his coaching career as the pitching coach with the Indians in 2003. He bounced around from Seattle to Boston in the same role and now he is back here in Cleveland to work with the best starting pitching in baseball. The Indians finished the 2017 season with a 3.30 ERA, tops in baseball. That’s why Callaway got a better job…
The Indians certainly played it safe with this hiring, bringing back the formidable Willis. With a staff so great already, there’s no need to take a gamble when it comes to changing the coaching staff after someone takes a job elsewhere.
We will miss Mickey Callaway very much, but I’m certain Carl Willis will keep the staff at its best for a 2018 run at the World Series.
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