Talk about a blast from the past!
The Texas Rangers announced several of the coaches for their minor league affiliates on Tuesday.
Not to be lost in the shuffle, former Los Angeles Dodgers closer and 2003 National League Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne was named the new bullpen coach for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate, the Nashville Sounds.
Gagne has experience working with young pitchers, of course. He spent 2018 working as the pitching coach for the AZL Rangers in the Arizona League. He also helped a struggling Craig Kimbrel during the 2018 postseason, working to get him to stop tipping his pitches from afar.
Joining the staff in Nashville is hitting coach Howard Johnson (@20Hojo), pitching coach Brian Shouse, coach Geno Petralli, bullpen coach Eric Gagne, athletic trainer Carlos Olivas (@THECarlosOlivas) and strength and conditioning coach Al Sandoval.— Nashville Sounds (@nashvillesounds) January 8, 2019
Gagne wasn't the only notable addition to the Sounds' coaching staff. Former All-Star Howard Johnson will act as the team's hitting coach.
From 2002-2004, Gagne converted 152 saves, including all 55 opportunities in 2003. However, his playing career became tainted when he was named in the infamous Mitchell Report.
Johnson enjoyed great success during his tenure with the New York Mets from 1985-1993, including seasons with at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 1987, 1989 and 1991. He also acted as a great hitting instructor for future Mets All-Star David Wright, playing a critical role in his development.