Pitching guru Duncan in line for D-backs front-office post

PHOENIX — The Diamondbacks soon are expected to announce the hiring of decorated pitching coach Dave Duncan as a special adviser and consultant to the organization, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, saying Wednesday that only a few details stand in the way.

The MLB Network reported that the deal was done.

Duncan, a highly regarded developer of pitchers while with manager Tony La Russa with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland and St. Louis, would have his hand in every phase of the D-backs’ pitching operation both at the minor- and major-league levels.

The D-backs were interested in Duncan as the pitching coach to replace Charles Nagy, who was fired this offseason after three years, but Duncan sought different worlds to conquer after having a hand in the development of four Cy Young winners, including Chris Carpenter, whose career turned around under Duncan in St. Louis. Duncan also tutored Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright, who has finished in the top three in NL Cy Young voting three times.

Duncan, 68 in September, moved with La Russa from Oakland to St. Louis before the 1996 season, and while with the Cardinals he was a part of two World Series and 11 playoff teams. Duncan took a leave of absence from St. Louis after winning the 2011 World Series to care for his wife, Jeanine, who passed away from brain cancer in June.

Duncan made his major league debut with the Kansas City A’s in 1964, at age 18, and had an 11-year major league career as a catcher. Sons Shelley and Chris both played in the major leagues and were raised in Tucson.

He would have input in the hiring of a new pitching coach. The D-backs also have yet to hire a bullpen coach to replace Glenn Sherlock, who will coach third base this season.

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