The Orioles today announced that they have hired JEFF DATZ as Major League Bench Coach.
Datz spent the past eight seasons on the Major League coaching staff for the Cleveland Indians, including four seasons as the Bench Coach.
The 2010 season will be Datz’s 29th in professional baseball. After a nine-year career as a player, which included a Major League stint with the Detroit Tigers in 1989, Datz spent two years as a scout before beginning a coaching career that has spanned the last 17 years.
Datz began his Major League coaching career in 2002 as the Indians’ Bench Coach. After spending the second half of the 2002 season as the third base coach for the Indians, Datz spent the 2003-2005 seasons as the first base coach for the Tribe. After spending the first five months of the 2006 season as Cleveland’s third base coach, he returned to his Bench Coaching duties for the remainder of that season and the 2007-2009 campaigns in Cleveland.
Datz replaces DAVE JAUSS, who served as the Orioles’ Bench Coach for the last two seasons.
The Orioles also announced today they have declined the club’s 2010 options on 3B MELVIN MORA and CA CHAD MOELLER. In 10 seasons with the Orioles, Mora appeared in 1,256 games and posted a .280 (1323-4733) batting average. He hit 158 home runs for the Birds and drove in 662 runs. He is second in franchise history in games played at third base (807) and his 89 home runs at Oriole Park are the third-most behind Rafael Palmeiro (124) and Brady Anderson (91).
Moeller, 34, batted .258 (23-89) with two home runs and 10 RBI in 30 games for the Orioles in 2009.
The Orioles outrighted OF JEFF FIORENTINO, RHP CHRIS LAMBERT, RHP JIM MILLER and CA GUILLERMO RODRIGUEZ to Triple-A Norfolk after each cleared waivers, removing them from the 40-man roster.
Fiorentino batted .281 (18-64) in 24 games and Rodriguez was hitless in five at-bats over seven games with the Orioles in 2009. Lambert appeared in four games, posting a 4.76 ERA (5.2IP, 3ER), while Miller spent the 2009 season at Triple-A Norfolk and was 4-4 with 17 saves and a 2.64 ERA (64.2IP, 19ER) for the Tides.
LHP SEAN HENN was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays. He appeared in six games for the Orioles, allowing three earned runs in 3.0 innings.