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Quick Hits: Pitching Coaches, Baseball Ops Vacancies, Orioles, Phillies, Yankees

Chris Holt is the leading in-house candidate to take over the Orioles’ vacant pitching coach position, per’s Joe Trezza. Holt came to the Orioles from the Astros as the minor league coordinator, but he’s since been promoted to Director of Pitching. A further step up into the ML dugout would be a natural progression for Holt, who has drawn compliments, per Trezza, for “fluency in analytics and ability to communicate that information to players, amongst other skills.” Doug Brocail was the pitching coach in 2020, but he is not returning to manager Brandon Hyde’s staff. The Orioles have made the protection and development of their young pitching one of the hallmarks of the current regime, and promoting Holt now could signal a readiness for some of those prospects to begin making an impact at the major league level. Let’s check in on some other coaching and front office rumblings from around the league…

  • The Phillies are now looking to fill their pitching coach spot yet again following Bryan Price’s retirement. Price spent just one season in the role, leaving manager Joe Girardi with a significant leadership void to fill. A former catcher himself, Girardi no doubt will take a leading role in finding the right voice to speak to his  hurlers, and a number of names are popping up already, such as Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey and internal candidates Dave Lundquist, Rafael Chaves, and Jim Gott, tweets Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • This would seem to be a key decision for the future of the Phillies and Girardi, as they’ve long lacked stability in this department. Next season will mark the 5th different pitching coach in the past 5 seasons, notes Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phillies host of talented hurlers have largely disappointed, as the group of Aaron Nola, Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez, and Nick Pivetta (now with the Red Sox) have looked like the core of a potential rotation at times, but even augmenting this group with outside additions like Jake Arrieta and Zack Wheeler hasn’t gotten the Phillies where to want to be, record-wise. Phillies pitchers have ranked 14th in the majors in fWAR over the past 5 seasons.
  • Tim Naehring has been a popular name for baseball ops openings around baseball like the Phillies and Marlins, but he’s unlikely to leave his role with the Yankees, per Andy Martino of the SNY Network (via Twitter). Connections to Derek Jeter in Miami and Girardi in Philly draw straight lines to Naehring, who is a VP of Baseball Operations in New York. But the role he is in now apparently works for Naehring, and those obvious contacts may be pumping up the possibility of a change.
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