Hired as Red Sox pitching coach on 5/9/15...Filled the vacancy left when Juan Nieves was relieved from his duties as pitching coach on 5/7/15...Began 2015 as pitching coach for the Indians' Triple-A Columbus Clippers. Entering his 14th year as a ML pitching coach between Cleveland (2003-09), Seattle (Aug. 2010-13), and Boston (2015-16). 4 pitchers have won Cy Young Awards with Willis as their pitching coach: CC Sabathia (2007), Cliff Lee (2008), Felix Hernandez (2010), and Rick Porcello (2016). In his first full season as Red Sox Pitching Coach in 2016, Boston led the AL with 9 complete games, 2nd-most in MLB behind only SF (10) and the most by any Boston club since 1996 (17). Red Sox pitchers in 2016 allowed the fewest HR in the AL (176), after surrendering the 4th-most in 2015 (178)...Boston's pitching staff also posted the AL's lowest opponent SLG (.397) in 2016. Red Sox pitchers set a single-season franchise record with 1,362 SO in 2016 (previous: 1,294 in 2013)...Boston set franchise records for most strikeouts recorded by relievers (507 - previous: 479 in 2011) and by starters (855 - previous: 833 in 2010). The Red Sox ranked 9th in the majors and 4th in the AL with a 4.00 ERA in 2016, after ranking 25th in MLB and 14th in the AL in 2015 (4.31)...Boston's starters posted a 3.56 ERA from 7/9 through the remainder of the season, lowest in the AL and 2nd-lowest in the majors behind only CHC (2.95)...Red Sox starters also led the majors in innings pitched in that span (473.1). The Red Sox also saw improvements from 2015 to 2016 in SO/9.0 IP (7.6 in 2015, 8.5 in 2016), WHIP (1.36, 1.27), save % (66.7, 70.5), quality starts (80, 87), opponent AVG (.264, .246), opponent OBP (.327, .313), opponent SLG (.424, .397), and opponent OPS (.751, .710). During his 7-year stint with the Indians from 2003-09, Cleveland walked the 3rd-fewest batters in the AL (3,374) and induced the 2nd-most GIDPs (991)...The 2005 Indians led the AL in ERA (3.61) and WHIP (1.22). Began 2010 as Mariners minor league pitching coordinator...On 8/9/14 joined Seattle's ML staff, where he remained as pitching coach through 2013...From 2010-12, Seattle finished 3rd (3.93), 6th (3.90), and 4th (3.76) in ERA among AL teams. Began coaching career with 13 seasons in the Indians organization from 1997-2009...Worked his way up from Short-A Watertown (1997) and Rookie-level Burlington (1998) to Single-A Columbus (1999), Double-A Akron (2000), and then Triple-A Buffalo (2001-02)...In 2003, took over as the club's ML pitching coach. Was with Cleveland during John Farrell's stint as the team's Director of Player Development, November 2001-06. Rejoined the Indians as a special assistant to baseball operations in 2014...Returned to duties as a pitching coach for Triple-A Columbus to begin 2015.
Right-hander had a 9-year ML career...Pitched on 2 teams that went on to win the World Series (1984 Tigers and 1991 Twins)...Was teammates with Chili Davis in MIN from 1991-92. Went 22-16 with 13 saves and a 4.25 ERA (184 ER/390.0 IP) in 267 ML games (2 starts) between the Tigers (1984), Reds (1984-86), White Sox (1988), and Twins (1991-95). From 1991-93, went 18-6 with a 2.78 ERA (70 ER/226.1 IP) in 152 appearances, all in relief. Posted career bests in wins (8-3) and ERA (2.63) over 40 games with the 1991 Twins...Helped MIN to that year's World Series title with a 2.92 ERA (4 ER/12.1 IP) over 7 relief appearances in the postseason. Selected by Detroit in the 23rd round of the 1983 June Draft out of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
Full name is Carl Blake Willis. Married to Rachel...Has a daughter, Ally, and 2 sons, Daniel and Bryson...Has 1 grandson, Luke. Is a 1979 graduate of Piedmont Academy in Providence, NC where he played baseball and basketball. Earned a bachelor's degree in park and recreation management at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington...Played 4 years of baseball for the Seahawks and was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. His uncle, Paul Willis, pitched in the New York Giants' system in the 1950s.