Rockies eye Wiley for new job as Director of Pitching
The Rockies have long had a pitching problem. Nothing has worked. The Rockies' new plan, sources say, is to hire a Director of Pitching, someone who would have responsibility and authority over pitching in all phases of the organization, from scouting all the way to the major leagues. The Rockies are targeting Mark Wiley for the job.
The Rockies know they have a pitching problem.
They've tried to fix it many ways, some conventional, some not.
Now, according to sources, they have a new idea.
The new plan is to hire a Director of Pitching, and hand him responsibility and authority over all parts of the organization, from scouting and drafting, through development, and all the way to bringing pitchers to the major leagues.
Who could do all that?
The Rockies are apparently hoping that Mark Wiley can. They're awaiting official permission from the Marlins, Wiley's current employer, but sources say Wiley is the man they have targeted for the job.
Wiley, who spent 17 seasons as a big-league pitching coach, worked for the Rockies in 2006-07 as a special assistant. He left to become the Marlins pitching coach in 2008, then stayed on in Florida as a special assistant after he was fired as coach.
He would be taking on a huge task with the Rockies, whose pitching problems are exacerbated by playing in high altitude at Coors Field. The Rockies are last in the big leagues this year, with a 5.13 ERA, and their pitching was such a mess that they took the drastic step of going to a four-man rotation and limiting their starters to 75 pitches a game.
While that strategy was widely panned, some people in baseball understood.
"How can you blame them?" one former big-league manager said. "Nothing else has worked there."
From his time in Colorado, Wiley knows the problems. Perhaps he can be the one to figure out how to fix them.