The Orioles are promoting Chris Holt to their vacant pitching coach position, general manager Mike Elias announced to reporters this afternoon (Twitter link via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com). He’ll take over for former big league righty Doug Brocail, who had held the post for the past two seasons but wasn’t retained for a third year on the job.
Holt initially came to the Baltimore organization from the Astros. He’d previously served as the Houston’s assistant director of pitching, where he worked with Elias when Elias as an assistant general manager. Holt’s first title with the O’s was minor league pitching coordinator, but he was promoted to director of pitching last offseason — a role in which he had a more direct connection with Brocail and the staff. Holt will retain that director of pitching title but will now see his duties expand into the big league dugout.
Holt has previously worked to develop individualized pitching plans for the Orioles’ pitchers at both the minor league and big league levels. MLB.com’s Joe Trezza wrote recently that Holt was the internal favorite to take over the pitching coach role and has drawn praise for his “fluency” in analytic principles and his ability to communicate that information to players who aren’t as familiar with the data. He worked closely with many of the club’s young arms at the alternate training site in 2020, Trezza notes, including Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer.
Elias added that bullpen coach Darren Holmes will return for a second season as the club’s bullpen coach and work with Holt to oversee the staff as a whole. The Orioles hired Holmes last December after a five-year stint as the Rockies’ bullpen coach.