The Orioles are expected to reveal their coaching staff within the next few days, and it seems more likely that they go outside the organization to fill at least one opening.
Having talked to a few people this morning, it appears that Mike Bordick will probably remain in his role as coordinator of offensive fundamentals instead of being hired as a base coach. He would join the team during home games as a seventh coach who wouldn’t be in uniform after batting practice.
Bordick doesn’t have much experience coaching third base, and the Orioles prefer to keep Wayne Kirby at first. Kirby coached third in the minors and could probably do it in the majors, but the Orioles want to avoid having to shuffle coaches in different roles during the season, as they did with John Russell and Willie Randolph in 2011.
Brian Graham, coordinator of minor league instruction, and minor league infielder coordinator Bobby Dickerson were considered for the third base job, but they’re also likely to remain in the farm system where their contributions are more valued. However, their exact roles still need to be determined. Much depends on the front office shuffling and hires.
At one time, it appeared almost certain that Graham would be named director of player development, but that was before Dan Duquette came aboard as executive vice president of baseball operations. He could choose to go in another direction.
Manager Buck Showalter would prefer having a Spanish-speaking coach, though it’s not imperative, especially with Rudy Arias staying in the organization as a batting practice pitcher.
One possibility for bullpen coach is former major league pitcher Bill Castro, a native of Santiago, Dominican Republic who has served as a pitching and bullpen coach in Milwaukee. Castro also was the pitching coach for the Dominican Republic’s entry in the inaugural World Baseball Classic. He’s regarded as a leading candidate to join Showalter’s staff.
Again, things could change and I’m always hesitant to eliminate names from the list, but that’s where the Orioles are leaning right now. Stay tuned.
Also, former Red Sox first base coach Ron Johnson is a leading candidate to manage at Triple-A Norfolk. Gary Allenson is expected to be reassigned.
Johnson has managed at Triple-A Pawtucket, and he was Boston’s first base coach until being fired last month.
As I recently wrote, Allenson could end up running extended spring training in Sarasota and managing at short-season Single-A Aberdeen. That’s one scenario being discussed.