The Orioles probably couldn’t have gone terribly wrong with any of the four external candidates they interviewed for the pitching coach position before settling on Atlanta Braves minor league pitching coordinator Dave Wallace, but their choice reflects Dan Duquette’s desire to get more out of the pitchers who already are on the club’s roster and in the system.
Wallace has been there and done that with several organizations and got a World Series ring in 2004 with the Boston Red Sox. He has extensive experience at both the major and minor league level and should come with a built-in level of trust from Duquette and manager Buck Showalter.
The choice of a coach with Wallace’s credentials is sure to breed speculation that the Orioles will not be a serious player for a top-of-the-rotation starter this offseason, since he is viewed as a guy with a talent for bringing along young pitchers. That would be no surprise, considering the Orioles’ usual reluctance to pay big money for pitching and the fact that there really isn’t a lot of elite talent available in either the trade or free-agent markets.
Barring a change in philosophy, the Orioles will go into spring training with Chris Tillman at the head of the rotation and many of the same starters who ended the season with the club in 2013. The club has to decide whether to try and re-sign free agent Scott Feldman, but Wallace will have at least five viable starter candidates to open the season.
The Orioles still have not indicated who will be named the bullpen coach. Bill Castro moved from that position to pitching coach when Rick Adair took a leave for personal reasons and Scott McGregor took over in the bullpen. Club officials may have more to say later tonight when Duquette, Showalter and Wallace talk part in a conference call with the media after the Gold Glove winners are announced.