Chiti fol­lows Wal­lace to work with Braves

Two coaches pro­vided con­ti­nu­ity, get credit for strength of O’s pitch­ing

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Ed­uardo A. Encina eencina@balt­ twit­­dieInTheYard

The Ori­oles will be search­ing for not only a new pitch­ing coach this off­sea­son, but also a new bullpen coach as Dom Chiti is leav­ing his po­si­tion to take a job with the At­lanta Braves, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try sources.

Chiti will re­join the Braves as the team’s se­nior di­rec­tor of pitch­ing, a role in which he will work with ma­jor league pitch­ers and also be in­volved with scout­ing and ad­vi­sory.

The hir­ing could be an­nounced for­mally as early as to­day.

The depar­tures of Chiti and pitch­ing coach Dave Wal­lace, who an­nounced his re­tire­ment from ac­tive ma­jor league coach­ing at the end of the sea­son, leave a sig­nif­i­cant void on man­ager Buck Showal­ter’s staff.

Wal­lace and Chiti worked to­gether closely on all ma­jor league pitch­ing mat­ters and pro­vided the Ori­oles with con­ti­nu­ity that had been miss­ing. Now they will work to­gether again, but with a dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The Braves are sign­ing Wal­lace to a two-year deal as a roving pitch­ing in­struc­tor and ad­viser.

Both coaches came to the Ori­oles from At­lanta’s or­ga­ni­za­tion be­fore the 2014 sea­son.

Showal­ter ex­pected Chiti to re­main on his coach­ing staff and con­sid­ered him to fill the open pitch­ing coach po­si­tion.

Wal­lace em­pha­sized his de­sire to re­turn to the or­ga­ni­za­tion in a role where he could still help de­velop young pitch­ers.

But the Ori­oles al­lowed both coaches’ con­tracts to ex­pire Mon­day be­fore mak­ing them any re­newal of­fers, ac­cord­ing to sources.

The Ori­oles ad­vanced to the post­sea­son twice in Wal­lace and Chiti’s three years on staff. Chiti’s bullpen had a 3.40 ERA in 2016, best in the Amer­i­can League and third in the ma­jors.

This sea­son, Zach Brit­ton emerged as one of the game’s best closers, con­vert­ing all 47 save op­por­tu­ni­ties, and righthander Brad Brach en­joyed his best sea­son in a setup role. Both were named All-Stars.

Upon Wal­lace’s de­par­ture, Brit­ton and Brach cred­ited him and Chiti on Twit­ter with play­ing a ma­jor role in their suc­cess.

“Sad to see Dave Wal­lace go,” Brit­ton tweeted. “Very grate­ful for all he has done for me and my fam­ily. Any suc­cess I’ve had is a credit to [Wal­lace] and Dom Chiti.”

Brach tweeted: “Tough day see­ing Dave Wal­lace move on from the O’s. Who knows where my ca­reer would be with­out him and Dom Chiti. I owe all credit to them!”

Both Chiti and Wal­lace were also Ori­oles coach Dom Chiti’s bullpen had a 3.40 ERA in 2016, best in the Amer­i­can League and third in the ma­jors.

“Any suc­cess I’ve had is a credit to [Dave Wal­lace] and Dom Chiti.” Tweet by Ori­oles closer Zach Brit­ton

cred­ited with help­ing bud­ding righthanders Kevin Gaus­man and Dy­lan Bundy take sig­nif­i­cant steps for­ward this sea­son.

Chiti, who pre­vi­ously served as bullpen coach un­der Showal­ter with the Texas Rangers, has a di­verse coach­ing and scout­ing back­ground. Be­fore be­com­ing the Ori­oles bullpen coach, he was a spe­cial as­sis­tant to the gen­eral man­ager with the Braves.

He worked in the Rangers and Cleve­land In­di­ans or­ga­ni­za­tions as a scout, coach and ad­viser, and be­gan his coach­ing ca­reer with the Ori­oles in 1982, spend­ing nine years in the or­ga­ni­za­tion as a mi­nor league pitch­ing coach and roving in­struc­tor.

As a player, Chiti was a mi­nor league pitcher in the Braves and Ori­oles or­ga­ni­za­tions.

The losses of Chiti and Wal­lace could ac­cel­er­ate the Ori­oles’ pur­suit of for­mer Braves pitch­ing coach Roger McDow­ell, whom Wal­lace men­tored with At­lanta. McDow­ell’s op­tion for next year was not ex­er­cised by the Braves.


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