Rick Adair won’t be returning as Orioles pitching coach next season.
The Orioles have had four pitching coaches in Buck Showalter’s time. He inherited Rick Kranitz, who he replaced with Mark Connor for 2011. Connor left two months into the season, and was replaced by Adair, who was the bullpen coach.
Adair left the team in mid-August for personal reasons, and was replaced by Bill Castro, who had been the bullpen coach.
According to industry sources, here are some possible candidates:
Castro-The pitching staff’s ERA was actually lower under Castro than it was under Adair. He knows the staff. However, Showalter may not be comfortable enough with Castro, who has been in the bullpen for the bulk of his 19 years as a major league coach
Mike Griffin-The Norfolk pitching coach is often complimented for his good work. He’s liked by Showalter for his work there and worked under Dan Duquette in Boston’s minor league system. He’s never been a major league coach, and that may work against him.
Rick Peterson-Peterson has significant major league experience in coaching for Oakland, the New York Mets and Milwaukee and has spent the last two seasons as the Orioles’ Director of Pitching Development. Peterson had a much lower profile this season than last.
Rich Dubee-The highest profile candidate in the field. Dubee was let go at the end of the season after nine seasons with Philadelphia. He was coached big names, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. Dubee worked in the Montreal system two decades ago when Duquette was the Expos’ General Manager. A bonus for the Orioles is he lives in Sarasota.
Joe Kerrigan-He was pitching coach for Duquette’s Expos and Red Sox teams, and was briefly Boston’s manager. He hasn’t held a big league job since being fired by Pittsburgh in 2010. Kerrigan was interviewed for the job that went to Castro two years ago.
Charles Nagy-Let go by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Nagy served as their pitching coach for the last three years. Has no known ties with either Duquette or Showalter.
Carl Willis-Willis has spent the last decade as a major league pitching coach. From 2003-9, he was with Cleveland, and for the last four years, Seattle. The Mariners, who are looking for a manager, reportedly have allowed Willis, who has a year left on his contract, to interview for other jobs.
Willis has coached three Cy Young winners: CC Sabathia and Lee with Cleveland as well as Felix Hernandez in Seattle. He might like this job because it’s not far from his Durham, N.C. home.
Scott McGregor, who spent the last six weeks as the team’s bullpen coach, could be interviewed for both the pitching and bullpen coach job.
Another interesting name is Don Wakamatsu, a former bench coach for Showalter in Texas. He also managed Seattle. Wakamatsu is a former major league catcher who’s currently working as a scout for the New York Yankees. He could be a dark horse candidate for bullpen coach if the job doesn’t go to Castro or McGregor.