As popular pitching coach Mickey Callaway departs to take over as manager of the New York Mets, the Indians wanted to bring in a solid candidate to fill the position. It appears they have done just that, with a familiar face to boot.
The team announced today that Carl Willis, who served as Tribe pitching coach from 2003-09 under manager Eric Wedge, will return to Cleveland for a second stint in the same position.
During his first seven years with the Indians, Willis guided a Tribe pitching staff that won the American League ERA title in 2005 (3.61), helped win the AL Central in 2007, and produced back-to-back AL Cy Young Award winners in C.C. Sabathia (2007) and Cliff Lee (2008).
The 56-year-old has spent seven of the last eight years as a pitching coach with two different teams: first the Seattle Mariners (again under Eric Wedge), and more recently with the Boston Red Sox. He coached two more Cy Young winners during that stretch in Felix Hernandez (2010) and Rick Porcello (2016).
In addition to his experience as a coach, Willis was also a Major League relief pitcher for nine seasons, sporting a 4.25 ERA in 267 career games and winning a World Series ring in 1991 as a member of the Minnesota Twins' bullpen.