Orioles will begin interviewing pitching coach candidates

Orioles will begin interviewing pitching coach candidates
October 18, 2013, 4:15 pm
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(Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports)

The Orioles officially announced that Rick Adair would not return as pitching coach next season on Friday afternoon.

The news had been reported on Wednesday night, and manager Buck Showalter will fly into Baltimore on Tuesday to begin the process of finding his pitching coach.

Showalter said the team would interview four internal candidates, Bill Castro who served as pitching coach for the last six weeks of the season, Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin, Scott McGregor, who served as bullpen coach when Castro replaced Adair, and Rick Peterson, the team’s Director of Pitching Development.

At least three outside candidates will interview. The Baltimore Sun reported that Rich Dubee would be the first to interview.

“We’re not closing the door on anybody,” Showalter said. The team had an initial list of 10-15 candidates that it had narrowed.

“Experience in the major leagues as a pitching coach is a factor, but not a prerequisite,” Showalter said.

Neither Griffin nor McGregor has ever been a major league pitching coach, but both have extensive knowledge of the Orioles’ pitchers from their work in the minors.

Showalter said he wished Adair, who left the team for personal reasons in mid-August well.

“This is no reflection on Rick’s ability as a pitching coach,” he said.

If Castro is not chosen, Showalter will have his fifth pitching coach since he took over in Aug. 2010. He inherited Rick Kranitz, who was replaced after that season. Mark Connor began the 2011 season, but had to leave for health reasons two months into the season. Adair was moved from bullpen coach to pitching coach.

“We tried to make the transition as seamless as possible,” Showalter said.

Showalter said that he’s not all that familiar personally with some of the candidates.

“I don’t really run in those circles,” he said.

Connor had been with Showalter in his three previous managerial stops, and he’d known Adair in Texas, too.

“Just because I know somebody doesn’t mean that’s a prerequisite,” Showalter said.

Dubee is known to Dan Duquette, the Orioles’ executive vice president of baseball operations. He was a minor league pitching coach for the Montreal Expos two decades ago when Duquette was the team’s general manager. Dubee was Philadelphia’s pitching coach for the past nine seasons before being fired last month. He lives in Sarasota, Fla., where the Orioles train.

Duquette and Showalter will interview candidates in Baltimore. Others reportedly in the mix are Seattle pitching coach Carl Willis and Texas bullpen coach Andy Hawkins.

Showalter said the new pitching coach would have major input on the bullpen coach. He hopes to have both positions filled by the end of this month.

The Orioles may have had interest in Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, but the Reds have refused to allow Price, who is a candidate for their manager’s job, interview for other coaching jobs. An industry source that there had been serious interest from the Philadelphia Phillies in Price, but the team refused to allow him interview for a position that would be a lateral move. Price has one year left on his contract with Cincinnati.