Orioles Pitching Coach Mark Connor Resigns

This is a rough day to be a major league pitching coach. Via tweet from Scott Miller of CBS Sports, Baltimore Orioles pitching coach Mark Connor has resigned; he will be replaced by bullpen coach Rick Adair. Terry Crowley takes over as interim bullpen coach.

Earlier today, the Houston Astros fired their pitching coach, Brad Arnsberg, and replaced him with former Astros pitcher Doug Brocail, who who had been serving as special assistant to general manager Ed Wade.

This had been Connor's first year as Orioles pitching coach. He spent the last two years as a special assistant in the player development department of the Texas Rangers, but before that, he had been a major league pitching coach for eight seasons with three different teams -- the Diamondbacks from 1998-2000, the Blue Jays in 2001 and the first half of 2002, and the Rangers from 2006-2008.

The Orioles staff ERA of 4.24 currently ranks 11th in the American League. In 2010, they had a 4.59 team ERA and ranked 13th, so it would appear Connor had made some steps forward. Nevertheless, teams often look for scapegoats when they're not going well; Connor appears to be the guy for that role this year with Baltimore. Adair has seven full major league seasons as a pitching coach with the Indians, Tigers and Mariners; he was Seattle's pitching coach in 2010, when their team ERA of 3.93 ranked fourth in the AL.

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