The Baltimore Orioles will not have the services of Rick Peterson as their Director of Pitching Development moving forward. Peterson has worked behind the scenes with Oriole minor leaguers (and a few big league guys) since joining the organization in 2012. And speaking for myself, I think that the results have been fairly decent.
Some would take issue with that assessment, and perhaps they have a valid point. The Orioles’ starting pitching (at the major league level) is inconsistent for the most part. However compared to what it was prior to 2012, I would submit that it’s been pretty good. And to me, that’s the context into which anything needs to be put.
Vice-President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette confirmed this news yesterday (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
I appreciate Rick Peterson’s effort and good work for five years to develop pitching at all levels and wish him well. Rick has a solid track record helping pitchers and is well-respected throughout baseball.
I’m not exactly sure what to make of that statement, as it somehow comes off in the form of someone saying the right things. I know what you’re thinking – gee Domenic, are you saying that there’s more than meets the eye? The fact is that there generally is more than meets the eye.
Running an operation such as a major league baseball team and bringing everything together isn’t easy. So when you look at how things were run prior to Andy MacPhail’s arrival and then how things have been since (up to and including Duquette’s stewardship of the franchise), there’s no question that things are better. However needless to say, the changes on the pitching side of things of late are of interest…
…and that’s something into which we’ll delve perhaps this week. But right now the big news is that Rick Peterson is out. You have to wonder what’s next for him, as you may recall that Boston was interested in him as a pitching coach a few years back. My personal opinion is that he’s very good at bringing out the best in pitchers, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up in a dugout somewhere.
Time will tell, however for the time being he’s out of the Orioles’ organization. Honestly, I’m not sure why he isn’t being considered for the Orioles’ vacant pitching coach job, but that’s another story for another day. For the time being he’s gone.