LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - New Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace is going to have his hands full running the major league staff with the Orioles, but he also would be expected to have some input with the minor league pitching coaches and pitchers as well.
Yesterday, Wallace said he already has talked to O’s director of pitching development Rick Peterson and Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin.
“The way we have to do things is (by doing what is) the right way for each guy,” Wallace said. “Every pitcher is different. I know Griff and I’ve talked to Rick several times. I know what he does and what he teaches. We want to make sure it’s a ‘we’ thing. They are a part of the process just as much as we are. Guys may want to go back to them and that’s fine.”
Manager Buck Showalter talked about the importance of the major league pitching coach and bullpen coach being on the same page as the minor league staff that works with pitchers.
“We just don’t want to confuse players,” Showalter said. “We want there to be one common....that is really you have a voice there and consistency of method so to speak. What best works for each player. Dave will have ideas but like I tell the coaches all the time, ‘I don’t want the player confused. Let’s have one voice with a consistent message to them.
“If a player can go somewhere and get a sympathetic ear to his plight, then you’ve got a problem. We don’t want a sympathetic ear to something that is not conducive to the Orioles being the best team they can be.
“If something comes to you and forces you to pick a side, you need to walk away. There is only one side and that is what is best for the Orioles. Understand what the finish line is. Dave is not going to be in Bowie in August, so who is going to carry that consistent message?”
New O’s bullpen coach Dom Chiti is on the same page with Wallace. The two men worked together in the Atlanta organization and are clearly close if you go by what they said about their relationship yesterday.
“We are kind of the antithesis of each other,” Chiti said. “We’ve had some good ones (battles) but that is kind of what makes the pairing pretty good.
“The best way to explain it. We have one common goal. For every single pitcher to find the key to be the best he can be. As long as we maintain that common goal the rest doesn’t matter. The pitchers have to know they are first.”
Then Wallace chimed in with the quote of the Winter Meetings so far.
“He’s a microwave and I’m a crockpot,” he said. “I go slow and he goes, ‘We have to get to those guys.’ When those players see you together on the field for them, they start to earn the trust in the both of us as well. It is trust and knowledge.”