In this installment of the Players You Forgot Were Astros series, we look at pitcher and coach Mike Maddux.
As far as major league careers go, Mike Maddux didn’t have an exceptional one. He did play 15 seasons in the big leagues, but he bounced around a lot and was never an All-Star. He’s more well known for his subsequent career as a pitching coach, and he actually ended his playing career and started his coaching career with the Houston Astros.
Maddux is the older brother of Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux. He broke into the majors in 1986 with the Phillies and spent his career primarily as a reliever. He played for nine different teams in his 15-year career, with the Phillies being the only team he played with for more than two seasons.
The elder Maddux’s best stretch came with the Padres in 1991 and 1992 when he worked to a combined 2.42 ERA in 178.1 innings. He finished his career with a 4.05 ERA in 472 appearances, totaling 5.6 WAR.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
His time with the Astros came at the tail end of his career. The team signed him on Feb. 1, 2000, the first year in the new ballpark. Maddux was not effective, however, working to a 6.26 ERA in 21 appearances before being released in July.
He got his start in coaching immediately, serving as pitching coach for the Round Rock Express through 2002. He got his first major league coaching job in 2003, serving as the Brewers’ pitching coach until 2008.
Following that, he became the Rangers’ pitching coach, serving in that role through 2015. His tenure coincided with the franchise’s most successful period, reaching two World Series. They also managed to field a respectable pitching staff for the first time in many years.
Maddux then served as pitching coach for the Nationals under Dusty Baker in 2016 and 2017. Since 2018, he’s been the pitching coach for the Cardinals. He’s preparing to enter his 18th consecutive season as a major league pitching coach, and thus has now surpassed his playing career in terms of length (and probably success as well).
He never came close to the on-field success his brother had, but Mike Maddux has forged a career many would love to have. Even though his time with the Astros wasn’t successful on the field, it did launch his coaching career, which has proven to be an excellent one thus far.