The Orioles are faced with a monumental task. How do they replace Dave Wallace, who had three outstanding seasons as their pitching coach?
In talking with a number of major league sources, there are many names that the Orioles could consider. Here are some of them.
1) Dom Chiti
Chiti is the most obvious candidate. He was Wallace’s trusted lieutenant as bullpen coach, a sort of second pitching coach.
When Wallace left to handle family matters each month, it was usually Chiti who filled in.
Manager Buck Showalter may prefer someone else who has been a major league pitching coach, which Chiti has not.
Chiti and Showalter worked together in Texas when Chiti held a variety of jobs. He’s well thought of in the game and could choose to go elsewhere, or he could remain as bullpen coach for a new pitching coach.
2) Roger McDowell
McDowell who worked with Wallace and Chiti when they ran minor league pitching in Atlanta, was fired as the Braves pitching coach last week after 11 seasons.
He’s among the most experienced available pitching coaches and was cited by former Orioles closer Jim Johnson for working well with him in Atlanta.
McDowell ended his 12-season major league career with the Orioles in 1996.
3) Andy Hawkins
Hawkins was one of four finalists for the job in 2013 when Wallace was hired. Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis and Tigers pitching coach Rich Dubee were the others.
At the time, Hawkins was the Texas Rangers’ bullpen coach. He’s moved on from Texas and spent this year in the Kansas City organization as its Triple-A Omaha pitching coach.
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Hawkins was a minor league pitching coach with the Rangers when Showalter managed there and was a player on the Yankees when Showalter was a coach.
4) Rick Kranitz
Kranitz was the Orioles pitching coach when Showalter became manager in Aug. 2010. After the season, Kranitz and the other Orioles coaches were not retained.
He moved on to Milwaukee in 2011 replacing Orioles minor league guru Rick Peterson as pitching coach, and while his name was mentioned for the vacancy three years ago, nothing came of it.
Kranitz who was also a Marlins pitching coach prior to his hiring in Baltimore, moved on to the Philadelphia Phillies for this season where he served as bullpen coach.
5) Ramon Martinez
Martinez, the Orioles’ Special Assignment Pitching Instructor, is close with Wallace and filled in for him early this season when he had to leave the club.
Even though his concentration was supposed to be on developing Latin American pitchers, Martinez, who has not been a major league coach, is credited with working well with Wei-Yin Chen.
6) Frank Viola
Viola is the only person on this preliminary list who has no ties to either the Orioles or Showalter.
He is credited with outstanding work with the New York Mets’ Triple-A Las Vegas team, and is cited as an up-and-coming coach.
Viola had a wonderful 15 season major league career and has worked his way up in the Mets organization for the past five seasons.
7) Dave Miller
Miller, the least known name on the list, was a minor league pitcher in the Orioles organization from 1986-1992, topping out at Triple-A Rochester.
He’s been with the Cleveland organization since 1993 in a number of roles, and spent time as the Indians bullpen coach. He’s currently a major league scout for Cleveland.
8) Alan Mills
Mills, a longtime fan favorite, Mills spent nine of his 12 major league seasons with the Orioles.
His work in the Orioles minor league system has been praised, and two of his pitchers at Double-A Bowie, Mychal Givens and Donnie Hart have jumped directly to the major leagues.
The Orioles also could consider Peterson, their Director of Pitching Development and a pitching coach for three major league teams and Mike Griffin, their Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach.