Of the four reported outside candidates for Orioles pitching coach, the one who’s most familiar to Buck Showalter is Texas Rangers bullpen coach Andy Hawkins.
Hawkins and Showalter first met in New York when the 53-year-old right-hander pitched for the Yankees. Showalter was a coach while Hawkins was there.
From 2001 through this year, Hawkins spent every year but one in the Texas Rangers organization. Showalter was the Rangers manager from 2003-2006. Hawkins was Triple-A Oklahoma’s pitching coach in 2006 when former pitching coach Rick Adair was the Rangers’ minor league pitching coordinator.
First base coach Wayne Kirby has also worked with Hawkins. Kirby spent five years with Texas as its minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator before coming to the Orioles in 2011.
Since Aug. 2008, Hawkins has been the Rangers’ bullpen coach. Familiarity with not only Showalter, but Orioles personnel will help Hawkins. Scott Feldman, Tommy Hunter and Darren O’Day all pitched for Texas while Hawkins was there.
Showalter is known to favor people he’s familiar with, and while he’s sure to be impressed by the resumes of Rich Dubee and Carl Willis, a comfort zone is important to him.
Hawkins pitched 10 seasons in the major leagues with San Diego, New York and Oakland. He won 18 games in 1985 for the Padres and 14 in 1988 before signing with the Yankees in 1989. He won 15 games for New York.
He’s the answer to a trivia question, too. Hawkins has the only San Diego Padres World Series win. In Game 2 of the 1984 World Series, Hawkins relieved Craig Lefferts in the first inning and pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit. He got the win. Detroit beat San Diego in five games, and when they returned to the World Series, the Yankees swept them in 1998.