Change Begins: Chris Holt no longer pitching coach, assistant Darren Holmes leaves organization.

MASN’s Roch Kubatko announced this morning that Chris Holt will no longer be the pitching coach. The Baltimore Orioles hired him as their minor league pitching coordinator in 2019. Holt worked with GMs Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal with the Astros and followed them to Baltimore. Holt was promoted to pitching coach in 2021 to replace Doug Brocail.

The Orioles pitching staff greatly improved under Chris Holt. The team had an ERA of 3.97 in 2022, a significant improvement from their 5.84 ERA in 2021 (dead last in baseball). The O’s had an ERA of 3.89 in 2023, which was the 7th best in baseball. Walks were also a huge issue before Holt joined the staff. Baltimore had the 7th fewest walks in the league in 2022 and 2023.

Holt will still be the director of pitching, as he was given that role in the 2020 season. This role allows Holt to focus on the overall development of pitching throughout the organization. On top of working with the major league level, Holt will also work with the minor league organizations to find quality pitching.

Assistant pitching coach Darren Holmes is leaving the organization entirely. Holmes was hired by the Orioles in 2020 where he became the bullpen coach. Holmes was the Colorado Rockies bullpen coach for five years prior to Baltimore. The team moved Holmes to the dugout during games and moved major league field coordinator/catching instructor Tim Cossins to the bullpen. This move creates a second opening on the pitching staff.

The rest of the coaching staff should remain intact. The eventual 2023 AL Manager of the Year Brandon Hyde is returning, as well as: Fredi Gonzalez (bench coach), Ryan Fuller and Matt Borgschulte (co-hitting coaches), Anthony Sanders (first base/outfield instructor), Tony Mansolino (third base/infield instructor), Jose Hernandez (major league coach), and Ryan Klimek (pitching strategy coach).

There’s a possibility that the Orioles stay in-house and promote Triple-A pitching coach Justin Ramsey, but there’s still a lot of offseason left. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the Orioles will likely make several roster changes as well.

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