During his daily news conference on Friday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter addressed his coaching changes, including the leave of absence taken by pitching coach Rick Adair, the promotion of Bill Castro from bullpen coach to pitching coach and the transfer of Scott McGregor from rehab pitching coordinator in Sarasota to Orioles bullpen coach.
In a separate session, Castro and McGregor talked about the moves.
Here are some of the quotes from those conferences:
Showalter on Adair’s decision to take a leave of absence for personal reasons: “I think the release had a “personal matter.” When things are personal, I know everybody here knows what that means. It’s not a matter of closing ranks or whatever, it’s just we all have some things in our lives we need to take care of that are more important than this, believe it or not. We are just fortunate to be in an organization that’s willing to do those things and we’re fortunate to have people like Billy and Scott that can make it seamless. That’s nothing to do with the job Rick was doing; Rick’s doing a good job. There are some challenges we all have that we need to take some time and take care of.”
Showalter on whether Adair will return this year: “Hope so. We’ll see. That’s up to how it goes. I’m not going to put a timeframe on that.”
Showalter on Castro and McGregor: “This is not Billy’s first rodeo. He’s been a pitching coach in the big leagues and has been with us for two years … Billy’s a very talented guy who is very adept at the job and job description. Players know him and like him and he’s been part of a reason for our success, just like Rick has. And to have someone there like Scotty, who has been a jack of all trades for us. He’s been very instrumental last year and this year in the rehab program.”
Showalter on a pre-game meeting with the team: “We talked about that and a couple others that I wanted to use the opportunity for. … Want to remind them of a few things.”
Showalter on whether he considered others for the spots: “I’m not going to get into the timeframe of when it was considered. Obviously, it wasn’t something that happened overnight. We considered a lot of things. This was the most seamless. I can give you three or four guys but it’d be robbing from Peter to pay Paul. The priority, obviously, is the major league club and the pitching staff and we felt like, all things considered, this was the best way to go for whatever period of time it is.”
Castro on his initial reaction: “Well, I was surprised. I felt uncomfortable in the beginning with the situation. I don’t want anything bad to happen to anybody. Rick will be fine, and we’ll take care of things around here. Going to keep doing what we’ve been doing. Nothing is going to change.”
Castro on whether he talked to his pitching staff: “That’s why I was so late here coming in. I was talking to the pitchers out there before they got to their stretching. I just told them I’m an open letter. Keep the line of communication open. I’m here for them, to help them, and we’re all trying to get where we want to get. Get to play in October.”
Castro on the transition: “It will be different because not everything is on my shoulders. But I’ve done this before and I’ll be able to handle the guys. I’m pretty comfortable with everybody here and I think the guys are comfortable with me. So I don’t think it will be anything that drastic … I talked to them before and they understood what I was talking about. I saw some of the guys shaking their heads saying, ‘Yes, yes.’”
Castro on getting the job because Adair had to leave: “I felt uncomfortable when Buck talked to me about it. I want to be a pitching coach in the big leagues, but I don’t want it to be this way. It happened. We’ll do the best we can, and I’ll hold it down until Rick gets back.”
McGregor on joining the Orioles again (he was the interim bullpen coach at times in 2011): “I always told them I’d do whatever they needed me to do. And I got the call and I’m here. I’m just trying to help out however I can.”