SARASOTA, Fla.- Released after 11 years coaching pitchers of the Atlanta Braves, Roger McDowell returns to the Orioles for the first time since joining them in 1999.
Mcdowell was announced as the Orioles pitching coach back in November 2016. Since then he has, according to Baltimore Sun writer Eduardo Encina, interacted with his pitchers personally multiple times and joined them for the pitching minicamp in Sarasota this past January. In the same interview he talks of spending his free time familiarizing himself with the training facility at Ed Smith Stadium, where the real work building a cohesive team will begin.
McDowell brings with him decades of experience both as a coach and former player. Part of the 1985 New York Mets World Series win, McDowell entered the organization with 3.30 ERA and 129 career saves. Brave’s pitchers under his coaching like Tim Hudson, Craig Kimbrel, Julio Teheran all made it the the All Star Game. Ironically enough McDowell started coaching the Braves replacing Leo Mazzone, who went on to coach the Orioles from 2006 to 2007.
Mcdowell will have to spend time learning the in’s and out’s of his new franchise. Spring training will give him a chance to build on the work accomplished during the minicamp. During training he will likely rely heavily on incoming bullpen coach Alan Mills. Mills coached the Orioles farm team, the Bowie Baysox for their 2015 season. Mills will help McDowell learn about the pitchers quickly during the preseason.
Pitchers report for spring training Feb. 13.