Denny Hocking, who served as Double-A Bowie's field coach the past two seasons, has accepted a job as manager of the Los Angeles Angels' rookie-level team in Arizona, according to an industry source.
Hocking has been a leading candidate to replace Bobby Dickerson as the Orioles' minor league infield coordinator, but they apparently decided to go in another direction. No hire has been made.
Hocking's departure brings more change to the minor league coaching staffs.
Einar Diaz is expected to move up from low Single-A Delmarva to Bowie as Hocking's replacement. Butch Davis, the Orioles' minor league outfield instructor, is a leading candidate to replace Diaz with the Shorebirds.
I'm also hearing that Torre Tyson, formerly a manager and defensive coordinator in the New York Yankees' system, could be named the field coach at Single-A Frederick. He's one name under consideration.
Kennie Steenstra will serve as the Keys' pitching coach after three seasons at Bowie. Steenstra formerly worked as pitching coach at Frederick for one year and Delmarva for four years. Blaine Beatty, formerly the pitching coach at Frederick, will move up to Bowie.
The Orioles haven't announced their minor league staffs, but Ron Johnson will remain at Triple-A Norfolk and Gary Kendall will return to Bowie. Ryan Minor will move up from Delmarva to Frederick, and Luis Pujols will manage the Shorebirds, as MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski reported in late November. Orlando Gomez will manage the Gulf Coast League team after two seasons at Frederick.
The Orioles are expected to name former Arizona Diamondbacks scout Matt Merullo as manager at short-season Single-A Aberdeen. Merullo, a major league catcher from 1989-1995, would replace Gary Allenson, who was named manager at Double-A New Hampshire in the Toronto Blue Jays' system.
Got all that?
I wrote last month that the Orioles were in the process of hiring former Boston Red Sox farm director Kent Qualls as part of their minor league baseball operations staff. Look for that announcement in the coming weeks. Or maybe it's only days. Who knows?
Qualls mostly would be involved in the administrative side of the department.
John Stockstill, the Orioles' director of player development, may run the professional scouting department, according to multiple sources. Again, nothing is official at this point. The Orioles haven't made any announcements.