Mike Griffin is returning to the O's organization

Mike Griffin, the O's well-respected pitching coach at Triple-A Norfolk, confirmed today that he is returning to the organization in 2011.

"I'm returning and looking forward to it," he said.

Griffin, who was pitching coach at Bowie in 2008 and at Norfolk the past two seasons, will likely serve as pitching coach at Triple-A once again although the final coaching positions have not been announced by the O's, who have also yet to finalize their Major League staff.

Griffin has worked with and helped some of the club's top young pitchers in recent years with players like Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergesen, Zach Britton, Jason Berken, David Hernandez and Chris Tillman all under his tutelage.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed being with the Orioles, they have been great to me. Andy MacPhail and John Stockstill have just been great to work with. It's a good time to be an Oriole, there are good things happening with our younger players. I'm very pleased to be an Oriole," Griffin said.

Griffin said the current crop of young O's pitchers have been easy to work with.

"When you have this kind of talent, it makes it real fun to come to the park every day. I've got to give our pitchers a lot of credit. We've got a solid group of pitching coaches up and down the line, but also a group of pitchers that are dedicated and willing to work and learn."

For the last two years, the O's have named Griffin winner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award.

"That means an awful lot to me. That to me is the epitome of being recognized for what you do and I am very proud. It means an awful, awful lot to me and makes me want to do even better next year. But it's because of those pitchers I have had and I've thanked every single one of them.

"It's fun to be in this organization right now. It sounds kind of corny to say that, but I truly mean it. The Baltimore Orioles are going to be making some noise here."

Coming tomorrow: Griffin's comments on top pitching prospect Zach Britton.

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