Arizona Diamondbacks, Pitching Coach Mike Butcher Go Separate Ways
“The (Arizona Diamondbacks) have parted ways with pitching coach Mike Butcher,” the team stated in a press release Monday afternoon. Butcher, 54, had just finished his fourth season in charge of the Diamondbacks hurlers. The team did not immediately state the reasons for Butcher’s departure.
Mike Butcher joined the Diamondbacks as pitching coach on November 1st, 2015, under manager Chip Hale. He stayed aboard when the Diamondbacks hired current manager Torey Lovullo in November of 2016. Under Butcher, Diamondbacks pitchers posted their four highest single-season strikeout totals in club history. In 2017 and 2018, they had their best and second-best ERA totals, respectively, in club history – 3.66 and 3.72. They also had their fourth-lowest and third-lowest WHIP totals, respectively, in club history – 1.27 and 1.25. However, in 2019, their ERA rose to 4.25 – seventh in the National League – and their WHIP rose to 1.308 – eighth in the Senior Circuit. The increase in team ERA figured heavily in their near-miss of the postseason in 2019.
Resume for Mike Butcher
It is too early to tell what pitching coach openings will pop up around the league. However, Butcher figures to be in the discussion to go somewhere. He served as Joe Maddon’s pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2006 before heading to Anaheim in 2007. While there, he served as the pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angels under manager Mike Scioscia from 2007-15 before coming to Arizona. He has overseen several of the top arms in the league during his 14 seasons as a major league pitching coach, with 13 different pitchers receiving nods to an All-Star Team. Prior to his tenure with the Rays, he served in the Angels’ minor league system for six years, showing that he can guide both developing pitchers and established veterans.
Information from the 2019 Arizona Diamondbacks Media Guide contributed heavily to this report.
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