In a stunning development hours before the start of a three-game series in Toronto, the Orioles announced pitching coach Mark Connor has resigned due to “personal reasons” in a press release Tuesday afternoon.
Bullpen coach Rick Adair will assume pitching coach duties with former hitting coach and current organizational hitting instructor and evaluator Terry Crowley taking over as interim bullpen coach. The changes take effect immediately.
The 61-year-old Connor was in his first season as Baltimore pitching coach and 36th season in professional baseball after spending the last two years as a special assistant in the player development department of the Texas Rangers. He previously served as a pitching coach under Orioles manager Buck Showalter in New York, Arizona, and Texas.
Adair, 53, joined the Orioles this offseason after spending the last two seasons as the pitching coach of the Seattle Mariners under former manager Don Wakamatsu. He has also served in the same capacity with the Detroit Tigers (1996-1999) and Cleveland Indians (1992-1993). Prior to taking the Seattle job, Adair spent four seasons as the minor league pitching coordinator in the Rangers organization, coinciding with Showalter’s time in Texas.
Given Connor’s abrupt departure with the Orioles currently north of the border to take on the Blue Jays, there will be plenty of speculation over the reasons behind his decision to leave the team.