BALTIMORE — Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair has taken a leave of absence for personal reasons, with no timetable for his return.
No specific explanation was given for Adair’s departure, which began Friday. He has been Baltimore’s pitching coach since June 14, 2011.
“It has nothing to do with the job Rick’s doing. Rick’s doing a good job,” manager Buck Showalter said. “it’s just we all have some things in our lives we need to take care of that are more important than this, believe it or not.”
Bullpen coach Billy Castro will take over for Adair and minor league rehab coordinator Scott McGregor will become bullpen coach. This is Castro’s second year with Baltimore. He served as pitching coach for Milwaukee in 2009 after a 17-year run as the team’s bullpen coach.
“This is not Billy’s first rodeo,” Showalter said. “He’s been a pitching coach in the big leagues and has been with us for two years. Billy’s a very talented guy who is very adept at the job.”
The news of his promotion to pitching coach of the Orioles came as a surprise to Castro.
“I felt uncomfortable in the beginning with the situation,” Castro said. “I don’t want anything bad to happen to anybody. Rick will be fine, and we’ll take care of things around here. We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing. Nothing is going to change. ... I’ve done this before and I’ll be able to handle the guys. I’m pretty comfortable with everybody here and I think the guys are comfortable with me.”
The transition is not expected to have an impact on the pitching staff.
“We’re fortunate to have people like Bill and Scott that can make it seamless,” Showalter said.
The change comes at a time when the Orioles are locked in a duel to reach the postseason for a second straight season.
“It surprised me just because I didn’t know. But I think we are all on the same page here,” starting pitcher Chris Tillman said. “We all know what we need to do and will go about our business the same way we have been.
“Billy has been around here for two years. He’s out there for every bullpen (session) and he knows what we’re working on. He knows what makes us click, and we’re all on the same page as a pitching staff. We know what needs to happen.”