What with trying to stay warm in recent days thanks to Son Of Polar Vortex: The Freezening, you may have overlooked this piece of news. Former Indians pitcher Charlie Nagy has been signed as a pitching instructor for the Indians organization. His exact job title and duties will be worked out when Nagy meets with Tribe general manager during spring training. He is not expected to replace current Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway.
Nagy played for the Indians from 1990 to 2002, appearing in 313 games, 297 of them as a starter. He went 129-103 with an ERA of 4.51 as a member of the Indians. In 2001, when the organization compiled a list of the 100 greatest Indians players, Nagy made the list. A three-time All-Star, Nagy had five seasons of 15 victories or more. In 1996, his best season with the Indians, Nagy had a record of 11-2 at the All-Star break. I know what they say about ifs and buts, but if Nagy had had marginally better run support in two of his non-decision starts, he might well have been 13-2 at that point. He ended the season with a record of 17-5 and an ERA of 3.51.
After the 2002 season, Nagy was granted free agency status. He signed with the San Diego Padres before the 2003 season, and made five appearances with that team before retiring after the game of August 1, 2003.
Nagy served as the pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks from
2001 2011 through the 2013 season. He was dismissed last October. In a recent column for SB Nation, veteran baseball writer Rob Neyer speculated that part of the reason Nagy was let go by Arizona was that he failed to instill in their pitchers the need to brush back, or even outright hit with a pitch, an opposing batter when the situation called for it. I certainly don’t follow the Diamondbacks closely enough to know whether there is any merit to Neyer’s hunch. I don’t remember Nagy being a headhunter. Over his career, he himself hit batters with a pitch 51 times, or roughly 6 times per a complete 162-game season. By comparison, Indians hurlers hit 60, 55, and 58 batters in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons respectively.
Call me sentimental, but I always like to see players from the Indians’ winning era of 1994 to 2001 come back to the organization. I think it’s a shame that the Indians couldn’t find a position for Omar Vizquel, for instance, while the team’s rival Detroit Tigers could and did—he recently was hired by the Tigers to be their first-base/infield/baserunning coach. Kenny Lofton is another man who should be on the Indians’ payroll in one capacity or another. But while we don’t have either of those two guys, we do have Charlie Nagy, and I wish him nothing but the best.