More organizational chatter

Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava is in town today to interview for the job vacated by Andy MacPhail.

I doubt that the Orioles have whittled their list down to two candidates, but they couldn't go wrong with LaCava or Jerry Dipoto, the Diamondbacks' senior vice president of scouting and player development. Everyone I've talked to in baseball raves about them and thinks they would be smart hires.
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Dipoto also will interview for the Angels' GM job, according to various reports. He's starting to look like their top choice. This could pose a big problem for the Orioles, who interviewed him yesterday.

The Orioles want to introduce their new president of baseball operations before filling other vacancies. However, I'm still getting the impression that director of player development John Stockstill will be reassigned. He's under contract for 2012.

As I wrote last week, Brian Graham, the Orioles' coordinator of minor league instruction, will likely replace Stockstill if the expected change is made.

Stockstill served as director of international scouting before swapping jobs with his brother, David, and becoming director of player development. John is currently in Japan on a scouting assignment. He could be handed duties more closely associated with his previous role, as the Orioles try to increase their presence in the international market.

Dipoto, 43, is widely regarded as the favorite to replace MacPhail - depending on what happens with the Angels - though LaCava brings impressive credentials and shouldn't have to wait much longer to become a general manager. If it doesn't happen here, another team will snatch him up.

If Dipoto is hired, it's worth noting that he's got previous ties to Graham. The Indians drafted Dipoto in the third round in 1989. Graham managed in the Indians' farm system for nine seasons before joining Mike Hargrove's staff in 1998.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

A few tentative spring training schedules have come out. The Orioles' dates aren't among them, but I've done a little crosschecking.

The Orioles won't travel to Kissimmee next spring, according to the Astros' early schedule. And you won't hear any complaints from the team or the media.

They will host the Braves on March 7 or 8 - the Braves' schedule says the 7th, the Grapefruit League's master schedule says the 8th - and the Phillies on March 20. The Orioles will visit the Phillies in Clearwater on March 10 and 25, and the Braves in Orlando on March 18.

Again, it's subject to change.

Xavier Avery went 3-for-5 with a triple, RBI and two runs scored yesterday in the Mesa Solar Sox's 12-9 loss to Salt River. Joe Mahoney went 1-for-5 with his fourth double in three games.

Steve Johnson tweeted earlier in the day that he woke up with a fever, but he managed to pitch three innings, allowing two runs and four hits and committing a throwing error.

Sean Gleason gave up a run and two hits in one inning. Casey Lambert threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings, but Cole McCurry allowed four runs and two hits, and walked two batters, in two-thirds of an inning. McCurry also threw two wild pitches, and only nine of his 23 pitches for strikes.

Photo of Tony LaCava courtesy of Toronto Blue Jays

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