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  • In Ray we trust!

    That's the sig line of bigtime39, one of my fave O's fans (despite words to the contrary in the Bitter Rivalry thread).

    Anyway ... what are some of the things that pitch coach Ray Miller has done with a young rotation? What improvements have you seen recently?



    Ray Miller 34
    Bio:
    Ray Miller, one of the preeminent pitching coaches in baseball history, returned for his third stint as Orioles pitching coach on June 26, 2004, replacing Mark Wiley...In 19 seasons as a major league pitching coach with the Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates, Miller has coached three different Cy Young Award winners (Mike Flanagan in 79 and Steve Stone in 80 with the Orioles; Doug Drabek in 90 with the Pirates) and seven different 20-game winners (Flanagan, Stone, Jim Palmer, Scott McGregor and Mike Boddicker with the Os; Drabek and John Smiley with the Bucs)...His staffs have finished in the top 3 in the league in ERA in eight of his 18 full seasons as a pitching coach...Orioles pitchers were last in the American League with a 5.34 ERA through 69 games when Miller took over last season...Over their final 93 games, they posted a 4.24 ERA, 2nd in the AL starting June 26, and finished 7th in the league with a 4.70 ERA...The ERA of Orioles starters was 5.94 before his arrival and 4.44 starting June 26. After wrapping up a 10-year minor league pitching career, Miller spent four years as an instructor in the Orioles farm system, 1974-77...At the end of the 1977 season, former Oriole player and coach Bill Hunter, then the manager of the Texas Rangers, hired Ray to be his pitching coach...Days later, the Milwaukee Brewers signed Orioles pitching coach George Bamberger as their manager, and the Os suddenly had lost two highly respected pitching minds...The Rangers granted the Orioles permission to talk with Miller about returning to the Os, and Ray spent the next 8 1/2 seasons as Orioles pitching coach...He managed in Puerto Rico and Venezuela as well as the Florida Instructional League for several years and, on June 21, 1985, was named manager of the Minnesota Twins...The club went 50-50 under his direction that year and 59-80 in 1986 when he was replaced by Tom Kelly on September 12...He spent the next 10 years, 1987-96, as pitching coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates under manager Jim Leyland before rejoining the Orioles in 1997...He was named Orioles manager on November 11, 1997 and compiled a 157-167 record in two seasons...His overall record in 4 seasons with the Orioles and Twins was 266-297.

    Playing career:
    Enjoyed a 10-year professional pitching career, all in the minorsClosed out his career with a 60-65 recordOriginally signed by San Francisco in January 1964Compiled a 1.87 ERA and tossed 7 complete games in his first pro season and hurled a no-hitter in 1964 for Lexington in the Western Carolina LeagueAfter his first season he was selected by Cleveland in the minor league draftHis winningest season came in 1968 at Reno when he went 16-8 wih a 3.22 ERA in 25 starts, with 16 complete gamesHe was acquired by the Orioles in a minor league trade in 1971 and spent the last 2 1/2 seasons of his career at AAA RochesterHe finished his playing career in 1973 at Rochester as a player/ coach.
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
    Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
    THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
    Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

  • #2
    Ray's credo:
    Work fast, change speeds, throw strikes. Every Orioles starter is using a changeup to a much greater extent than before, and it's helping them improve their game.
    Now if the offense would come back around...
    4 5 (7) 8 20 22 33 42 (44)

    Comment


    • #3
      He is a father figure for the young pitchers. Today Hayden Penn, born in 1984 (a year before me...yikes!) made his MLB debut. He looked great at times, only giving up 1 ER through 4.2 innings (3 R altogether). Ray set a simple goal for him - get through the first inning safely and go from there. Focusing a young pitcher in that way is one of the things that makes Ray such a great coach.

      As bigtime said, changing speeds is big and Ray teaches each of his pitchers (most anyway) a killer changeup. It has been the development of that pitch that has made Erik Bedard so special thus far...hope he comes back healthy soon. It has also helped Rodrigo Lopez, Daniel Cabrera, and Bruce Chen remain solid and, at times, spectacular. Of course, the organization has gotten the memo and Hayden Penn came up to today's game with a solid changeup already in his arsenal.
      I'm out there Jerry and I'm loving every minute of it!
      -Cosmo Kramer

      Reporter: What do you call that hair style you're wearing?
      George Harrison: Arthur
      -A Hard Day's Night

      People often ask me how I want to be remembered. I tell them that to be remembered at all is pretty special.
      -Cal Ripken, Jr.

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting points by both. I wasn't sure what the difference between a changeup and say, a heater was, so I found this, re the Mariners:

        http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseba...tchingpage.pdf

        It's a PDF file, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader at least. Just visit this link from adobe.com and you'll get this.

        Anyway, how good is he during in-game coaching? Like when a pitcher is struggling, or is it time to take him out when the #3 hitter comes up in the 7th inning, etc.

        Other than the changeup, what else does he want used? Breaking balls, curves, sliders, cutters?

        Thanks a lot.
        Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
        Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
        THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
        Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

        Comment


        • #5
          That's actually my favorite part about Ray Miller. He picks his spots to come out to the mound masterfully. Never too early, but I can't tell you how many times a pitcher has worked out of a seemingly impossible jam immediately after a Miller mound visit. He seems to have a way to get pitchers to simplify--"work hard, work fast, throw strikes" is his mantra--and in so doing he gets them to turn things around quickly.

          The one potential complaint would be if it turned out that he, and not Mazzilli, is the one dictating how the bullpen is to be used. Several times, Kline or Reed has been used in a situation that shouldn't dictate their use, and there is some nervousness that BJ Ryan is going to be spent come the stretch run. Miller was no good as a manager at managing his bullpen, and I hope that he is just sticking to the teaching end of things, where he is the master.
          I'm out there Jerry and I'm loving every minute of it!
          -Cosmo Kramer

          Reporter: What do you call that hair style you're wearing?
          George Harrison: Arthur
          -A Hard Day's Night

          People often ask me how I want to be remembered. I tell them that to be remembered at all is pretty special.
          -Cal Ripken, Jr.

          Comment


          • #6
            Lights out, meatballs

            I'm truly amazed with how well he has helped B.J. Ryan adjust to role of closer, and utterly dominant at that. He led the Orioles last season in strikeouts, the first time a reliever had done this on a team since '91. Now in '05 he was thrust into the closer role after being the bullpen workhorse, and has been nearly flawless. One blown save in 15 tries is crazy good, and when you look at his numbers: 1.38 era, 20 hits, 9BB, and 40K, 40K in 26 innings pitched it is not surprising he just keeps the O's on top late in the game. I thought the steady glove of Javy would be sorely missed by the staff, but bringing veteran Fasano back is like having an assistant pitching coach behind the dish, and Geronimo is just the type of young compliment to the older guys' ways that keep all the orange and blackbirds loose and loving it.
            Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words ~Ernie Harwell

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd forgotten to thank everyone for their contributions to this thread. I appreciate it.

              --Matt
              Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
              Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
              THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
              Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

              Comment


              • #8
                Miller's approach is indeed a simple one. Sometimes he comes to the mound only to point out a little thing (perhaps even insignificant, but usually worthwhile) and say a short phrase and turns right back around heading towards the dugout. His K.I.S.S. method is a complete departure from Mark Wiley, who was known as more of a micro-manager. Apparently our pitchers have benefitted from thinking less and throwing more.
                http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploa...-showalter.gif

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by J W
                  Miller's approach is indeed a simple one. Sometimes he comes to the mound only to point out a little thing (perhaps even insignificant, but usually worthwhile) and say a short phrase and turns right back around heading towards the dugout. His K.I.S.S. method is a complete departure from Mark Wiley
                  Can anyone tell me what is K.I.S.S. method? Thanks a lot.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tyruschen
                    Can anyone tell me what is K.I.S.S. method? Thanks a lot.
                    It's just a simple way of pitching. Keep It Simple Stupid. It was referred to earlier in this thread. Work fast. Change speeds. Throw strikes.

                    Comment

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