Unfortunately for Dave Wallace, the news of his hiring as the pitching coach of the Baltimore Orioles coincided with Tuesday night’s Gold Glove award announcements. However the fact is that Wallace is the Birds’ new pitching coach. As I said briefly in yesterday’s column, Wallace comes to the Orioles from the Atlanta Braves’ organization, where he was the franchise’s minor league pitching coordinator.
Buck Showalter made a comment to the effect that a fresh set of eyes could be helpful for the team. I couldn’t agree more; that’s true of many things in many different walks of life. Wallace had a very brief big league career, making 13 appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays, but also spent a great deal of time in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, including three in the front off
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The big question of course is will this new set of eyes make the Orioles’ rotation better? The first step towards answering that lies with the question of who will be in the rotation. And that we won’t know for awhile. However what we do know is that Atlanta’s always been known for their pitching as we all know. Granted Wallace hasn’t been at the big league level, however Atlanta’s pitching prospects have all had access and exposure with Wallace. Going back to the Orioles’ rotation for a moment, we also know that Wallace will be inheriting a pitcher in Chris Tillman who’s been the franchise’s #1 for the past year-and-a-half, and has turned in the best pitching of his career during that time.
Buck Showalter said that Wallace would have the most say in who his bullpen coach will be, but that both Scott McGregor and Bill Castro (the incumbent) are candidates. The one concern is that many of these pitchers will be on their third, fourth, or fifth pitching coach in several years. However that would have been a concern regardless of who the Orioles hired. Incidentally, the previous two pitching coaches (Mark Connor and Rick Adair) both left for personal reasons.