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Mike Harkey

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Michael Anthony Harkey

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[edit] Biographical information

Mike Harkey was a well-regarded pitcher with a weak shoulder. He was signed as a 1st round pick in the 1987 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs and scout Gene Handley.

In 1990, with the Cubs 13 games under .500 at the All-Star break, manager Don Zimmer decided to install a four-man rotation. Though it helped in the short run, as the team ended up making a (futile) charge at .500, and though Harkey pitched well for a while, he broke down and was never very good again. This is not to say Zimmer deserves the blame for what happened to Harkey, as he was a weak-armed pitcher, but this didn't help matters much. He went 12-6, 3.26 in 27 starts that year, pitching a career-high 173 2/3 innings in what turned out to be his best big league season.

Weak-armed as he was, he had missed nearly all of 1989 with shoulder and knee injuries. He missed nearly all of 1991 because of shoulder surgery. Still he soldiered on in the majors until 1997, when he made his last appearance with the Los Angeles Dodgers after spending all of 1996 in the minor leagues.

Mike was a pitching coach in the San Diego Padres system for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in 2000, the Fort Wayne Wizards in 2001 and 2003, the Lake Elsinore Storm in 2002 and 2004, and the Mobile BayBears in 2005.

He spent 2006 with the Florida Marlins as bullpen coach under manager Joe Girardi, a former teammate with the Cubs, and was the Iowa Cubs's pitching coach in 2007. In 2008, Girardi picked him to be his bullpen coach with the New York Yankees, a position he occupied until 2013. In 2014, he became a major league pitching coach for the first time, with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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