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Coaching Career

  • 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 13th year as a ML pitching coach between Cleveland (2003-09), Seattle (Aug. 2010-13), and Boston (2015).
  • Red Sox starting pitchers in 2015 posted a 3.58 ERA from August through the end of the regular season, the 4th best mark among AL clubs in that span...In addition, the starters allowed 3 ER or less in 34 of their 44 final games and had a 3.12 ERA, the best mark in the AL over that time.
  • Worked with Cy Young winners CC Sabathia (2007) and Cliff Lee (2008) in CLE and Felix Hernandez (2010) in SEA.
  • During 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).
  • Under his watch, the 2005 Indians led the AL in ERA (3.61) and WHIP (1.22)...The 2007 Indians ranked 3rd in ERA (4.05) and tied with the Red Sox for the best record in baseball (96-66) before losing to Boston in a 7-game ALCS.
  • Began 2010 as Mariners minor league pitching coordinator...On 8/9/14 joined Seattle's major league 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 major league 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.

Playing Career

  • Right-hander had a 9-year major league 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 major league games (2 starts) between the Tigers (1984), Reds (1984-86), White Sox (1988), and Twins (1991-95).
  • Posted career bests in wins (8-3) and ERA (2.63) over 40 games with the 1991 Twins...Then helped Minnesota 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: Carl Blake Willis.
  • Married to Rachel...Has 3 children: daughter, Ally, and sons, Daniel and Bryson.
  • 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.

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