The Orioles’ process of hiring a new pitching coach is winding down, according to the club’s top executive, with the hope of having someone in place by next week.
“We have a little more work to do on our due diligence; we want to make the best choice in our job search,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said. “We have some well-qualified candidates, and we should be able to have a top quality coach on our staff before it’s over. … We’d like to get it done before the end of the month.”
The Orioles have interviewed four external candidates for the position that was vacated by Rick Adair: former Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, Seattle Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis, Texas Rangers bullpen coach Andy Hawkins and Atlanta Braves minor league pitching coordinator Dave Wallace.
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Hawkins is the only candidate without extensive experience as a pitching coach, but he held the role on an interim basis in 2008 and has spent the past five years in charge of a Rangers bullpen that twice played in the World Series.
Dubee (2008 with Philadelphia) and Wallace (2004 with the Boston Red Sox) have been pitching coaches for World Series champions, and Willis has coached three Cy Young Award winners (left-handed pitchers CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee with the Cleveland Indians and right-handed pitcher Felix Hernandez in Seattle).
“We have some really talented candidates,” Duquette said.
At this point, no other interviews are planned.
Duquette said that several in-house candidates are under consideration — that would include current pitching coach Bill Castro, who had been the club’s bullpen coach before taking over in August when Adair was granted a leave of absence for personal reasons.
But Duquette said interviewing internal candidates was not a necessity.
“I don’t know if we are going to formally interview them,” Duquette said. “We have a good feel for the strength of the internal candidates. Obviously, we have been working with them for some time.”