The Orioles are busy without actually making any big moves or announcements.
Besides executive vice president Dan Duquette’s work at the general managers meetings, intended again to lay the groundwork for deals and agreements at the Winter Meetings, and the ongoing interviews for pitching and bullpen coach, the Orioles are making a few changes in their farm system.
I reported yesterday that Rick Peterson was out as director of pitching development. The Orioles want to go in another direction, with the possibility that the title will change to minor league pitching coordinator. Either way, someone else will have the job.
Let’s end any rumors or speculation that Peterson is part of a mutiny that follows the departures of pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti. Wallace retired as a major league coach. The Orioles wanted Chiti to stay, but apparently not before they hired a pitching coach. Peterson wanted to remain in the organization, from what I’ve been told by multiple people who would know.
One fan on Twitter asked whether Peterson’s leaving is more “fallout” from manager Buck Showalter’s decision not to use closer Zach Britton in the wild card game. At least he admitted that the theory was a reach. Yeah, that’s one way to put it.
I’m hearing that John Stockstill isn’t expected to remain as the Orioles’ director of player personnel. Stockstill has served in a variety of roles over the years - including director of international scouting and director of player development - and may be reassigned to a professional scouting job.
Stockstill interviewed for the position of executive vice present of baseball operations before the Orioles hired Duquette.
Before coming to Baltimore, Stockstill spent his entire professional career in the Cubs organization as a minor league player, scout and executive.
If I had to place odds on the coaching search, I’d make Roger McDowell the favorite to become the next pitching coach and Alan Mills the favorite for bullpen coach. However, there’s also support for Frank Viola as pitching coach.
The Orioles need to act quickly if they want McDowell. He’s attracting interest from other clubs.
McDowell spent 11 seasons with the Braves after the Dodgers hired him as pitching coach of Single-A South Georgia in 2002-2003 and promoted him to Triple-A Las Vegas in 2004-2005.
As part of baseball’s circle of life, McDowell replaced pitching coach Leo Mazzone in Atlanta on Oct. 29, 2005. Mazzone joined the Orioles, was fired after two seasons and replaced by Rick Kranitz.
The Orioles would have been interested in bringing back Kranitz, but he’s staying with the Phillies, where he currently serves as assistant pitching coach.
I’m wondering whether former Orioles left-hander and current pitching rehabilitation coordinator Scott McGregor will get consideration as Peterson’s replacement. He’s extremely valuable in his present role and we may go back to the “robbing Peter to pay Paul” analogy, but McGregor most likely will be discussed internally as a possible candidate.