Understanding the Players
One thing you could always be sure of with Mike Maddux was that he would get to know the players and have a close relationship with them. "The claw" was a way for Maddux to be close to a pitcher and calm them down in a tight situation.
Dusty Blake was hired for two primary reasons: first, he showed success in lowering ERAs at Duke while increasing strikeouts, and second, he was good at taking an analytical approach to baseball. You'll see that the earned runs and strikeouts have not gone in the right direction for the Cardinals. While analytics are nice and all, it takes a personal touch to be a coach, particularly when players are struggling.
Maddux, meanwhile, has worked hard to understand his players and their strengths. Rather than focusing on analytics, Maddux has a more grounded approach to coaching. He wants pitchers to throw what they believe in and adjust accordingly.
"Now we have all this data information that tells us why the ball moves and how much it moves and things like that. We always went back in the past, if you made your pitches, the hitters would let you know if your stuff’s any good. And we kind of went from there."- Mike Maddux
Pitching comes down to a player's ability to execute. They are the ones throwing the balls in the end. However, a manager or coach can impact the mindset, the play calling, and the approach to the game. Mike Maddux appears to be doing a strong job for the AL-West leading Rangers while Dusty Blake and the Cardinals muddle around at the bottom of the National League.