Nashville gets a bullpen coach. 7 comments

It’s not much Rangers news but its about all there is. The Rangers have hired Eric Gagne as their bullpen coach in Triple-A Nashville.

Gagne was a former dominating closer for the Dodgers. So dominating, in fact, he won he Cy Young in 2003 as as a reliever. He finished fourth in Cy Young voting the year prior and seventh a year after. It was an incredible run in which he set the major league record with eighty-four consecutive saves.

Then he injured his arm, had elbow surgery, then back surgery, making him a prime candidate for the Rangers.

In 2007, he signed with Texas, fought through injuries but regained a lot of his dominance, picking up sixteen saves in thirty-four games, with an ERA of 2.16 and an opposing batting average of .192, before being dealt to Boston at the deadline for David Murphy. Gagne seemed to run out of steam.

Or luck.

Or something.

At the end of the 2007 season, Gagne was named in the Mitchell Report as a steroid user. He later admitted it, and said he took HGH to heal after knee surgery.

Gagne had a devastating changeup that was described this way by sportswriter Dan Habib:

“The fastball is straight gas but the changeup is a devious thing, a bowling ball rolled off a picnic table. It travels some ten mph slower than his fast-ball, anywhere from 83 to 88 mph, and like a splitter it breaks late and sharp.”

It had almost comic book movement, like the changeup in those Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Gagne made a comeback, pitching for Canada in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, then attempted a comeback with the Dodgers, unsuccessfully.

Welcome to the organization, Eric Gagne. Please, please teach someone that changeup.

  • calntom

    Hopefully this was a well thought out hiring. All of the coaching jobs throughout the farm system are critical as the Rangers continue down the road to build from the minors.

  • GoRangers23

    Wouldn’t that be awesome if he did teach some of them that change-up? Thanks for the info Kevin! I saw the hiring, but didn’t know anything about him. This sounds like a pretty interesting hire. We can use all the coaching help available.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Think Gagne ..went an entire yr without blowing a save….while saving 50+

  • JacobMcCandles

    We signed Shelby Miller…..great low risk, high ceiling….this rotation has a ton of questions but a vast amt of potential

  • calntom

    Now there are 3 potential repaired starters with contracts that expire after the 2019 season. All are coming off surgery. All could be potentially traded if they show anything that raises eyebrows. A couple more reclamation projects for reclamation depth on the reclamation depth chart might be in order. Then the Ranger starting staff will be complete.

    But there is that pesky thing called the bullpen and that deal is very thin with a lot of holes. And we thought 3rd base might be troublesome………….

  • dearmidol


    The Rangers also are known to be pursuing infielders, but they are more interested in free agent Josh Harrison than Moustakas, in part because of Harrison’s defensive versatility.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Said that the other day and I agree