The Orioles have hired a pitching coach.
According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the O’s agreed to a contract last week with Mark Connor, a 61-year-old veteran of the pitching coach profression. He is good friends with manager Buck Showalter and the two worked side-by-side for the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers during the 90s and 2000s. Connor has spent 35 years as a baseball coach. He was most recently a special assistant in the Rangers’ player development department.
The Orioles continue to fill out their 2011 coaching staff. Jim Presley will serve as hitting coach, Wayne Kirby will handle first base and Rick Adair is locked in as the club’s bullpen coach. Showalter is trying to lure in Don Wakamatsu to be his bench coach and Juan Samuel has not yet committed to coaching third base but is expected to.
O’s president Andy MacPhail told the Baltimore Sun that he is “pleased” with the current crop of coaches. It’s a nice roster of names and the Orioles do have a nice level of young talent, but we’ll see how it all works out in the ever-tough American League East.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.