Cards Coach Interview: Dernier Orozco: Part 1

In the first installment of a two-part interview, the Peoria Chiefs pitching coach shares his background and talks about his talented 2016 staff.

Following his third season tutoring the pitchers on the St. Louis Cardinals’ Class-A Midwest affiliate, the Peoria Chiefs, Dernier Orozco was asked to coach In the Arizona Fall League for the Glendale Desert Dogs.

In Part 1 of an exclusive two-part interview, we get to know the 34-year-old, from his start as an outfielder, followed by a quick conversion to six years of minor league pitching before an arm injury moved him into coaching while he was barely in his mid-20’s. Now, Orozco has completed 11 years of coaching at four different levels in the Cardinals system.

The coach talks about his approach with young pitchers, including dealing with the big step for many into the Midwest League and the cold weather in April. From there, he discusses many of his top hurlers in 2016, including Junior Fernandez, Sandy Alcantara, Ryan Helsley and Jake Woodford. Orozco also touches on in-season arrivals Ronnie Williams, Dailyn Martinez and John Kilichowski.

In Part 2, coming soon, Orozco will discuss the four Cardinals pitchers he tutored in the AFL as well as his take on a couple of important defenders in Carson Kelly and Paul DeJong.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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