My colleague, Jeff Zrebiec, put together this list of Orioles’ pitching coaches since 1994, and I thought it was worth sharing the day after Mark Connor resigned for personal reasons.
1994 -- Dick Bosman
1995 -- Mike Flanagan
1996 -- Pat Dobson
1997-- Ray Miller
1998 -- Mike Flanagan
1999 -- Bruce Kison
2000 -- Sammy Ellis
2001-04 -- Mark Wiley
2004-05 -- Ray Miller
2006-07 -- Leo Mazzone
2008-2010 -- Rick Kranitz
2011 -- Mark Connor, Rick Adair
That’s 13 pitching coaches in 17 years -- or 11 different guys (since Miller and Flanagan did it twice). Pretty stunning considering much of that time the Orioles had one hitting coach, Terry Crowley.
There are two ways to look at the Orioles’ pitching coach carousel.
1. How can you expect a staff to be consistent when there is so much turnover with its direct supervisor?
2. These pitchers are professionals. They can use a little direction, some words of encouragement at times, but if they have made it this far, it is their talent and mindset more than any pro-level coaching.
I asked Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie about dealing with the pitching coach turnover and whether it can negatively affect a staff.
“Anything can affect a team for the better or worse, so there’s no telling which way it will go,” Guthrie said. “For us, we’re just losing someone we care for and we hope the best for him and the things he needs to handle.”
Counting Adair, Guthrie has had four pitching coaches in five seasons in Baltimore. For him, he said it’s more about adjusting to the personality of the coach than any designed philosophy. He joked that all pitching coaches have the same mantra: get outs and win.
“For me, some guys you work well with, other guys you don’t work as well with. That’s the most important thing,” Guthrie said. “The transition itself isn’t too difficult. It’s, ‘How does the working relationship go?’ And that’s something we’ll go through now with Rick as the pitching coach.”