Report: Diamondbacks hire Dave Duncan as pitching consultant

Mike Oz

The Arizona Diamondbacks targeted the legendary Dave Duncan as their next pitching coach.

The D-backs couldn't convince Duncan — Tony LaRussa's famed pitching expert, who hasn't coached since the 2011 season — to come back to baseball full time, but reports indicate they've recruited Duncan to return in a difference capacity.

He'll be the Diamondbacks new pitching consultant/special assistant to general manager Kevin Towers, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 620.

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic adds:

When asked about Duncan over the weekend, Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers said the club was willing to be flexible with his role.

“There are a lot of things he could do, whether it’s helping in spring training, throughout the season, working with (scouting director) Ray (Montgomery),” Towers said. “It’s pretty much, ‘Hey, you set your schedule and we’d love to have you.’ ”

Duncan worked alongside former manager Tony La Russa for 28 seasons with three clubs, the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals. He took a leave of absence from the Cardinals before the 2012 season to be with his wife, Jeanine, who was battling cancer. Jeanine died on June 7.

The D-backs fired pitching coach Charles Nagy in October. Afterward, Towers went on the radio in Arizona talking about how his pitchers didn't hit enough batters in 2013. Towers said he needed a pitching coach would "chew a little rear end" when needed.

Let's just hope the D-backs don't eventually hire Richie Incognito as their pitching coach to toughen everyone up.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!