Phil Regan: 2019 Mets Pitching Coach
Philip Raymond Regan was born April 6th 2937 in Ostego, Michigan. The six foot three right handed ptcher, began a long baseball career, getting signed by the Detroit Tigers in 1956. He would debut in 1960 & spend six seasons in Detroit as both a starter & reliever going 42-44 with a 4.50 ERA. In 1963 he won 15 games (10th most in the AL) for the 5th place Tigers who won 81 games.
In 1965 he asked the Tigers GM to be traded, he was soon sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Dick Tracewski. He landed on one of the best teams in baseball, with a pitching staff of Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton & Claude Osteen.
He became a full time relief pitcher, leading the NL in saves (21) & games finished (48) going 14-1 with 1.62 ERA with 88 strike outs 116 innings. It was here he was known to "swoop in" a game & earned the moniker the Vulture.
He earned both the Comeback Player & Reliever of the Year Awards. He would win 13 straight decisions that year & two more starting the next season to give him 15 straight winning decisions. He pitched two scores innings n the World Series loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
After going 6-9 with six saves for the 1967 Dodgers who finished in 8th place, he rebounded in 1968 leading the league in saves (25) & games finished (62) going 12-5 with a 2.27 ERA. That year he earned victories in both games of a double header against the New York Mets.
He was traded to the Chicago Cubs along with former Met Jim Hickman for Ted Savage & Jim Ellis. He won 12 games (12-6) for the '69 Cubs who lost their first place lead to the Amazing New York Mets. After parts of four seasons wit the Cubs, he closed out his career across town with the White Sox.
In his 13 year career he was 96-81 with 92 saves. Posting a 3.84 ERA with 743 Ks & 447 walks in 1372 innings of work in 551 games, 105 starts & 289 (133rd all time) games finished.
Retirement & Coaching Career: After his retirement, Regan began his long career in coaching. He started out near his home in Michigan where he coached at Grand Valley State University (1973-1982). His first major league coaching job was with the Seattle Mariners (1984-1986).
In 1985 he was suspended for two games, after he bumped umpire Derryl Cousins during a brawl between the Mariners & the California Angels.
From 1987-1992 he was an advanced scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the late 1980's he managed in the Dominican league winning a Caribbean World Series. Starting in 1989 he managed for twenty years in the Venezuelan Winter League.
He then went on to the Cleveland Indians as pitching coach in 1994 & again in 1999. In 1995 he managed the Baltimore Orioles but was fired after the strike shortened season & was replaced by Davey Johnson. He moved on to coach for the Chicago Cubs (1997-1998).
In 2009 he began his coaching in the Mets organization with the St. Lucie Mets. He held that position for seven years through 2015.
He was then promoted to minor league pitching assistant coordinator. He helped tutor the great Mets young arms of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler & Steven Matz.
The players developed a strong relationship with their mentor & it turned the staff around when he was promoted to the Mets "interim" pitching coach, replacing Dave Eiland in summer 2019.
Since Regan took over as pitching coach, his starters ranked first in the NL in ERA & his relievers ranked third in ERA during the second half of the season.