Dom Chiti flew back from the Dominican Republic tonight, where he was doing a little scouting for his new team. He’s the Orioles’ bullpen coach, but he’s so much more.
Showalter regards Chiti as one of the top five scouts in baseball, and those skills will be utilized here.
“The last couple of years, and moreso this year than the year before, I’ve been very involved with the minor league pitching with Dave Wallace,” said Chiti, formerly a special assistant with the Braves. “We worked together in a lot of aspects. Even though the title said one thing, it probably wasn’t a true representation of what I was doing.
“I was probably, and I don’t know this to be totally accurate, but I was probably in uniform for all of spring training and 70 to 80 days in the season. I spent a lot of time in the minor leagues with our young pitchers, and Dave Wallace and I worked very closely together. So, in some ways, my title may have been a little misleading.
“We had a lot of really good people in Atlanta, but the biggest thing was I’m excited to be able to work with Buck (Showalter) again and to join Dave Wallace again.”
Chiti was Showalter’s bullpen coach in 2006. He served as Brian Graham’s bullpen coach with Triple-A Buffalo in 1995. He’s good friends with Orioles first base coach Wayne Kirby. He feels right at home.
“It should be very exciting,” said Chiti, who still was in the Atlanta airport when we spoke over the phone. “It’s a great group of guys that are very knowledgeable and very good at what they do. That’s always an exciting thing.
“I know the intensity and knowledge and preparation that Buck brings, which is second to none. That’s going to be exciting also.”
Asked how he envisions working with Wallace in Baltimore, Chiti replied, “For lack of a better way to say it, Dave has the ball, but it’s a little bit of what we did in past organizations. Two sets of eyes are better than one. We know each other and 99.9 percent of the time, our philosophies are right on target and we believe in all the same things, so you don’t have conflicts with so many things going on with different pitchers.
“Dave has done it all and he’s absolutely a tremendous person in addition to being a great pitching coach. It’s very exciting.
“One of Dave’s biggest qualities is his ability to be open-minded, to listen, because he can do one thing and that’s putting players first. And that’s really what we’re both all about, putting players first and trying to get the best we can get out of every single pitcher. Inside that pitcher’s framework, not inside our framework.”