Rick Waits Joins RBI Club April 24, 2015
Seattle Mariners pitching coach Rick Waits will join RBI Club members and guests at our April 24 lunch as our guest speaker.
“I’ve always believed that a starting pitcher who is going to make 32 starts or more a year needs four pitches. If you only have three pitches, they all need to be really good. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful pitcher with just three. We see that. But [these pitches] have to be exceptional. Having four [pitches] better allows you to go through an order a third and fourth time.”
– Rick Waits
In late November of 2013, Rick Waits was officially named the Seattle Mariners pitching coach. He brought a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience to the pitching staff. It was clearly needed. The Mariners pitching staff was coming off a disappointing 71-91 record and 4.31 ERA.
Under Waits tutelage, the fellas on the mound combined for an 87-71 record and 3.17 ERA.
Will 2015 see another marked improvement from those on the mound? The expectation is certainly so. Jesse Spector of Sporting News went so far as to say he expects the, “…best run Seattle has seen since 1995.”
We can only hope!
Rick Waits’ History
Drafted out of high school in the fifth-round by the Washington Senators in 1970, Waits pitched over 12 seasons in the Majors. He compiled a 79-92 record with 8 saves and a 4.25 ERA. Following his time in the Big Leagues, he spent a brief stint as a player-manager in Italy with the Ramini Pirates. During his time overseas, he won two Italian Federation titles and was selected as Manager of the Year in 1988.
Returning to the States, Waits continued his coaching career, working his way up through the minor league system. In 2010, he joined the Mariners organization as the Minor League pitching coordinator where he focused on developing the whole pitcher.
“My job was to develop the complete pitcher. Not just a guy who has a great fastball, or a guy with a good curveball, but a guy who can control the running game and pitch inside. There is also the mental and emotional state. You have to be able to handle a bad inning, and a bad game. Another element is developing arms and bodies able to last over 200 innings. In the minor leagues, a lot of times you’re only pitching 160-175 innings,” Waits said.