DENVER—The Rockies have moved an up-and-coming pitching coach to within one step of the major leagues.
The Rockies shuffled their pitching coaches when Chuck Kniffin resigned from his post at Triple-A Colorado Springs to be with his ailing father. They promoted Doug Linton from high Class A Modesto to replace Kniffin, sending him back to the level where he spent all or part of 13 of his 16 professional seasons.
The Rockies also considered Double-A Tulsa pitching coach Bryan Harvey for the opening. Harvey prefers not to fly, which could be an issue in the Pacific Coast League, but the deciding factors to keep him at Tulsa were how well he does with young pitchers at what can be a stumbling-block level, and how well he meshes with manager Ron Gideon and hitting coach Dave Hajek.
Linton, 44, pitched in 2000 at Colorado Springs, going 10-13, 5.38 in his only season in the Rockies organization. He coached for Escogido this winter in the Dominican League, after working at short-season Tri-City in 2006-2007, low Class A Asheville in 2008 and Modesto last year. As his career statistics show, he's intimately familiar with the lay of the Triple-A land.
"He's a young guy that's an up-and-coming pitching coach and is going to be a big league pitching coach some day," said farm director Marc Gustafson, who praised Linton for "the energy, the work ethic, the knowledge with the deliveries, the ability to fit in with a variety of personalities."
"He's very organized," Gustafston added. "He's real good with video. He does a lot of nice things with us in terms of a development process. He's got the right demeanor. He's patient but he'll get on your (butt) if he needs to. He's not afraid of confrontation."
• Darryl Scott will be the Modesto pitching coach, moving up from Tri-City. Joey Eischen has joined the organization as the Tri-City pitching coach.
• The Rockies promoted Ty Coslow to professional scout, and he'll be replaced as national crosschecker by area scout Mike Ericson. Chris Forbes, whose territory included the Pacific Northwest, will pick up Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Las Vegas and west Texas. That's all of Ericson's former area except Colorado and Wyoming, which Zach Wilson, the manager of scouting, will cover.