Duquette on Chiti, Castro and GM meetings (and AFL note)

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette took a short break from the GM meetings in Orlando to talk about the hiring of former Braves special assistant Dom Chiti as bullpen coach.

“Dom Chiti is a real pro,” Duquette said. “He grew up around the Orioles organization and started his coaching career here. He’s very good with pitching evaluation and he’s done the bullpen job before. And he worked with Buck (Showalter) in Texas.”

Chiti joins new pitching coach Dave Wallace, formerly the Braves minor league pitching coordinator, as recent hires to the Orioles staff, which is now complete.

“Dom has been collaborating with Dave Wallace to help the young pitchers in the Braves organization the last five years, so he’s worked with Buck and Dave and grown up around the business,” Duquette said. “His knowledge and skills and evaluating ability should help our young pitchers.”

Chiti and Wallace are praised in the industry for their abilities to teach.

“We need to do everything we can to get the most out of our pitching,” Duquette said. “We added two good professional people in Dave Wallace and now Dom Chiti. The bonus is they worked together before to help the Braves pitchers improve their skills.”

As I wrote earlier, former bullpen coach Bill Castro expressed his frustration at not hearing from the Orioles until yesterday, when he was offered a major league scouting position that he declined.

“I understand Bill was disappointed,” Duquette said. “He wanted to be a pitching coach, and if he wasn’t pitching coach, he wanted to come back and make a contribution in the bullpen. Bill did good work with the Orioles for the last two years. That’s understandable, and it’s understandable that he would want to pursue other opportunities in the business. But we did offer him a position. We’ll see how that goes.

“I understand how Bill feels because he wanted to continue working for the Orioles at the major league level.”

The GM meetings started today and will conclude Wednesday. Duquette said he already met with a few clubs “to see if we matched up on trades.”

“We did some preliminary work today,” Duquette said.

That’s why these meetings exist.

Duquette has more meetings scheduled Tuesday before he heads over to Daytona Beach to attend Showalter’s induction into the Florida State League Hall of Fame. Showalter played, coached and managed in the FSL.

Note: The Surprise Saguaros, managed by Double-A Bowie’s Gary Kendall, clinched a spot in Saturday’s Arizona Fall League championship game with today’s 8-2 victory over Scottsdale.

Short-season Single-A Aberdeen’s Alan Mills serves as the Saguaros’ pitching coach.

Henry Urrutia went 1-for-5 with his 14th RBI. He’s batting .394.

Jonathan Schoop went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, lowering his average to .186.

Tim Berry lowered his ERA to 1.84 with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Jason Gurka (3.65 ERA) had a walk and strikeout in a scoreless ninth.

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