Former Oriole Brady Anderson was officially named today as special assistant to Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette. Even though Anderson has the same title as the recently hired Lee Thomas, Duquette said the duties will not be the same for both men. He also was asked if it was fair to describe Anderson as an assistant general manager.
"We don't have a GM, so we don't have an assistant GM," Duquette said on a conference call with Baltimore reporters. "I don't know that you can compare that to what Lee has been doing. Brady can help us in the areas he is very passionate about and those areas are player development and fitness. Those are two areas that we are going to leverage Brady's passion and leadership.
"He's a good baseball man, but I don't know that you can necessarily compare what he is doing and what Lee is doing. They are both special assistants that will help us, but his passion is the fitness level of the ballplayers throughout the organization. That is an area where we will work very diligently to establish protocol and standards where the players understand that they need to be conditioned at a high level."
Duquette today also promoted Tripp Norton to director of baseball administration. Norton will negotiate major league player contracts and oversee budgeting for the entire baseball operation in this role. Norton is in his 15th season with the organization. He started with the Orioles in 1998 as player development administrator and spent the last 12 years as assistant director of player development.
"Tripp Norton got a significant promotion. With Matt Klentak leaving to go to California, Matt had previously overseen the administration of the major league and minor league budgets. Tripp is a good, veteran baseball man and we're glad to have him helping us with the budgeting process and also with the negotiation of major league player contracts," Duquette said.
Duquette officially added former big league pitching coach Rick Peterson as director of pitching development for the organization.
"We've added Rick to lead our pitching development program, which is a priority for us. He has major league experience and is a top quality pitching coach. He likes to utilize technology to implement his program, which I think is a big plus," Duquette added.
"Rick's strength and passion is to leverage the work that he has done over the years with Dr. James Andrews with the efficiency of the delivery. Throwing a baseball is an unnatural motion and that is why we have all these injuries so anything we can do to maximize this scarce resource of top quality pitching, I think is in the interest of the Orioles.
"Rick can help with his use of the technology. Also the drills that he does to help the pitchers gain deliveries that are efficient and help them command their pitches and stay healthy, that's a proactive thing for the Orioles. It wil help us get the most out of our current pitchers and to develop the young pitchers we sign on the amateur level."
Duquette made it clear that this is not just a role with minor league pitchers for Peterson.
"We are planning to bring the pitching lab to spring training that Rick worked with Dr. Andrews on and that will help all the pitchers in the organization with their delivery. We will have that available to everyone in spring training and that is a resource for all the pitchers in the organization," Duquette said.
"Rick will oversee our pitching development program in the minors, but he'll also be a good resource for the major league staff as well."
Duquette said John Stockstill will continue to oversee the minor league operations but will also help with player additions and signings with his role now as the Orioles' director of player personnel.
"John will be working directly with me signing players throughout the industry. John also has a good background in scouting so he's helpful in procuring players," Duquette said.
"He's not limited to just minor league players, he's been helpful in helping us sign players internationally. In fact, this past year John went over to Japan to scout (pitcher Wei-Yin) Chen, who we recently signed. So I think this is an appropriate upgrade of his title to more accurately describe what he is doing for the Orioles."