Most Baltimore Orioles fans probably remember Alan Mills, as he’s a veteran of nine seasons with the O’s. However one of his teammates on the 1996 team was Roger McDowell, who was hired yesterday as the Birds’ new pitching coach. Mills will fill into a new role as well, as the Orioles’ new bullpen coach.
McDowell’s been Atlanta’s pitching coach over the last 11 years, helping to lead their rotation to a rank of fourth in the majors. His staffs had a 3.88 ERA over that time span. He replaced Leo Mazzone in 2005, who ironically left Atlanta to come to the Orioles at that time.
Mills has spent five years as a pitching coach in the Orioles’ organization, returning to the team with whom he spent the lion share of his career. He was somewhat of a fan favorite when he was with the Orioles over the aforementioned nine years, and was always one of the more well-known members of the bullpen. A bullpen that he’ll now lead.
The biggest challenge that McDowell will have is working with the likes of Bundy and Gausman – the Orioles’ young starters. That and managing guys like Jimenez, Tillman, and Gallardo, and trying to figure out where they each belong. Mills’ biggest challenge is going to be keeping the quality of the staff where it’s been.
The Orioles of course got this done just in the nick of time for the Warehouse to close for the Thanksgiving holiday. So Birds’ fans can now be thankful that the pitching staff has leadership this year!