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January 12, 2009

Minor coaching matters

The Orioles announced their minor league and international coaching assignments today, as well as some new scouting hires and promotions. Here's a quick rundown:

Norfolk Tides: Gary Allenson returns as manager. Mike Griffin moves up from Bowie to be the pitching coach. Dallas Williams returns as field coach.

Bowie BaySox: Brad Komminsk returns as manager. Larry McCall will serve as pitching coach. Moe Hill returns as field coach.

Frederick Keys: Richie Hebner returns as manager. J.D. Cannon returns as field coach. Kennie Steenstra moves up from Delmarva to serve as pitching coach.

Delmarva Shorebirds: Orlando Gomez will manage the club. Blaine Beatty will move over from Frederick to be the pitching coach. Ryan Minor will return as field coach.

Aberdeen Ironbirds: Gary Kendall will be back as manager. Scott McGregor will return as pitching coach. Cesar Devarez and Jesus Alfaro will be the field and bench coaches.

Bluefield O's: Einar Diaz will manage the rookie-level club. Troy Mattes will return as pitching coach and Jim Saul will return as field coach.

Gulf Coast O's: Ramon Sambo will manage the club and former O's pitcher Calvin Maduro will serve as pitching coach.

Dominican Summer League: The O's Dominican team will be managed by Miguel Jabalera. Robert Perez and Dionis Pascual will serve as pitching coaches. Benny Adames, Ramon Lubo and Francis Nunez will be the field coaches.

Minor league coordinators and instructors: Brian Graham returns as coordinator of instruction for the minor league system and Dave Schmidt is back as minor league pitching coordinator. Larry Jaster returns as minor league pitching coordinator for Florida operations and Julio Vinas returns for his fifth season as minor league hitting coordinator. The club's three roving instructors will again be Don Werner (catching), Butch Davis (outfield and baserunning), Denny Walling (hitting) and Alex Arias (infield). Len Johnston returns for his 18th year as minor league camp coordinator. Dave Walker returns as minor league medical coordinator. Joe Hogarty returns for his second year as minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. Jaime Rodriguez is back for his 36th season as minor league facilities coordinator. And the O's have added Manny Lopez as Latin American medical coordinator.

Scouting update: The Orioles have named Jim Thrift the club's new major league advance scout. Jim is the son of former O's GM Syd Thrift and has spent the last 15 years in the Cincinnati Reds organization. The O's also named former Cleveland Indians scout Matt Ruebel as the new national crosschecker and added Bobby Myrick to the professional scouting staff.

In addition, long-time O's scout Dean Albany has been promoted from amateur scout to regional crosschecker and the club has added Bob Szymkowski and Adrian Dorsey to their amateur scouting staff.

Last but not least, Tim Norris, Harvey Shapiro and Anibal Zayas have joined the team as part-time scouts.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:15 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

With the O's finally getting involved in the Asian market, I was wondering if they had made any more strides in improving their facilities and Scouting in Latin America. I know that was one of the issues Andy McPhail wanted to address.

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Pete's reply: They are continuing to expand their efforts in the Dominican Republic with the new facility there and expanding international scouting overall. I think they are making progress, but couldn't really tell you how much.

What the hell is a crosschecker?

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Pete's reply: Area and regional scouts evaluate players and make reports to the team from all over a region or all over the country. The crosschecker evaluates that information and goes out to see certain players for himself and makes comparisons of them for the scouting department.

I miss my childhood "idol" Andy Etchebarren no longer coaching at Aberdeen . He played the game the way it was supposed to be played .
Since he was relieved of his duties , is he still in baseball , anyone ??

Pete - I need some education. What does a crosschecker in scouting do? I see we have a national and a regional one.

There is an irony in the fact that Angelos is so loyal to the Thrift family. Syd pretty much sunk the O's into this cesspool when he was the GM.

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Pete's reply: I'm guessing Jim Thrift came here because of former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, who has joined the O's front office. He did a good job for the Reds for a long time.

Einar Diaz? The same one that was supposed to be the next big Indians catcher before Victor Martinez broke through? Wow, I thought he was still playing. When'd he retire?

Not on the topic of this post, but rumor has it that the Mets offered 3 years $30 million to Oliver Perez. I know he would have to want to pitch here, but I can't really understand why the team wouldn't want to make a play at him. He is coming into his prime and wouldn't necessarily clog up the rotation for our big pitching prospects. If anything, he would provide a solid starter to build the young guys around until one of them takes over as the Ace of the staff. Your thoughts please?

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Pete's reply: I would guess the Orioles have inquired about him, but it's pretty hard to get guys who are in demand to come to this ballpark in a non-competitive situation.

Pete,

Your last two posts have been entitled "Minor matters" and "Minor coaching matters." In my view, all of the Orioles' off season moves have been minor, with the possible exception of the Uehara signing. (Yeah, I know it could be argued that trading Hernandez would fall in the category as it opened up a spot for Wieters, but however awkward the team could have dealt with having them both.)

In other words, it's been pretty much business as usual for a perennial loser.

Now, based on your sources within the organization and/or on your gut feelings, what are the chances that between now and opening day the O's make any major moves besides possible contract extensions for Roberts and/or Markakis...slim and none?

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Pete's reply: Yes, fairly slim.

The Orioles cant even settle on a spring training home in Florida, how can we expect them to get something built in the Dominican or Japan....not happening. Hello 5th place in 2010 - 2020

Why go to the trouble of hiring scouts , nobody wants to play here anyway , let this pitiful franchise just go away , what a joke,,have more Kool-aid people...............this franchise is nothing but workfare for over the hill players and coaches...............

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Pete's reply: And yet you're still here, reading every word.

To the Honorable P. Schmuck:

I have a question that's been brewing awhile. Rushing pitching prospects aside (if that can be put aside), is there some structural reason why the few pitchers in the O's system who can consistently throw strikes (Guthrie, Tillman, etc.) actually came from other teams? Why is it that players born and bred in the O's system (D. Cabrera, G. Olson, etc.) have had such major control issues? Might we not only have a lack of player depth in our farm system, but also a lack of coaching ability? If so, how can the drafting of great prospects like Matusz and Arrieta ever convert to well-prepared candidacy for a major league rotation?


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Pete's reply: Interesting question. The O's pitching coaches, who set up the program for the entire organization, also have been from other teams the past few years, so -- if that was the problem -- maybe it's getting fixed.

In response to Jack's question: Etchebaren was coaching last year in the Independent, Atlantic league for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs that are owned by Brooks Robinson.

What, if anything are you hearing about the injured arms from 2008? Will Baez, Ray, Patton, etc..be ready for spring training? Any Nick Markakis contract neg updates? Thanx for the excellent job you do keeping us informed!

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Pete's reply: I believe all three pitchers are going to be ready to throw in spring training. I'll ask around to make sure. I believe the Markakis negotiations will resume shortly.

Nate : Thanks !

Your column would have been far better news if it had concerned the firing of most of the Orioles' minor league pitching and hitting coaches.You have ONE (count 'em) top hitting prospect, and none olf their pitchers can throw a strike when they come up here.

It's revealing that John Maine didn't develop 'till he'd gone to the Mets....isn't it?

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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