O's Name Rick Kranitz As Pitching Coach

After just two years, the Orioles recently made the decision to let go, arguably, the greatest Pitching Coach of all time. Now, they've identified the man that has to fill his shoes.

The Orioles today announced the hiring of RICK KRANITZ as pitching coach for the 2008 season.

Kranitz spent the past two seasons as pitching coach for the Florida Marlins after 22 years as a coach and instructor in the Chicago Cubs organization. He declined an offer to remain as Marlins' pitching coach for 2008 in order to pursue other opportunities.

Following the 2006 season, he was named Baseball America 's Major League Coach of the Year after leading the Marlins staff to the 5th best ERA in the National League (4.37). Five Florida pitchers won 10 or more games for the first time in franchise history including four rookies, for the first time in major league history.

The 2006 Marlins' starting rotation had a 4.22 ERA, 3rd best in the NL, while the team's 2007 bullpen pitched to a 4.02 ERA, 3rd best mark in club history.

Kranitz, 49, was the assistant pitching coach for the Cubs from 1996 through 1998 and again in 2000 and 2001 before being named bullpen coach in 2002. He managed Class A Daytona to a 66-71 record in 2003 before serving as pitching coach at AAA Iowa in 2004 and 2005.

He began his coaching career in 1984 with the Cubs' rookie-level Pikeville club. He served as pitching coach at Class A Winston-Salem (1985-86); Rookie-level Wytheville (1987); Class A Peoria (1988-89); AA Charlotte (1990-91) AAA Iowa (1992 and 1999) and AA Orlando (1993) and was the Cubs' minor league pitching coordinator in 1994-95.

A 4th round pick by Milwaukee in the 1979 First-Year Player Draft, Kranitz pitched five years in the Brewers organization. His best year came in 1980, when he went 13-7 with a 3.64 ERA for AA Holyoke and tied for 2nd in the Eastern League in victories. He threw a no-hitter for Class A Stockton in 1981 and also pitched in the Cubs organization while coaching in 1984 and 1985.

Orioles Manager Dave Trembley managed in the Cubs farm system from 1994-2002 while Kranitz was a coach and instructor for the Cubs.

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