Cody Asche talks about joining the Orioles' coaching staff

At just 32, and five years removed from a five-season major league career, Cody Asche became the Orioles' 10th coach this week. On Tuesday when the staff for 2023 was officially announced, he was the only new addition, hired as offensive strategy coach.

Asche joined the Baltimore organization in 2022 as an upper-level hitting coordinator on the farm. He began his pro coaching career in 2021 as the hitting coach for the Clearwater Threshers, the Low-A affiliate of the Phillies. He played parts of five seasons with the Phillies (2013-16) and White Sox (2017).

He said his role for next season is still being completely defined.

“Right now the way I see it, I will be an asset to (co-hitting coaches Ryan) Fuller and Borgs (Matt Borgschulte), hopefully an asset to Brandon (Hyde) and Fredi (González) in-game-wise. Have contact with the front office and the analysts and just really kind of be hopefully a jack of all trades and just be there to support and help our hitters get better.

“I just feel really fortunate and am excited that the front office believes in me and trusts me to be around their major league assets. And they trust me to help our team get better.”

As a major league hitter, his career OPS was .668, but he has over 1,300 career plate appearances. Is having played in the majors going to be a big asset for him?

“You know, I think on the surface it may seem a lot more important than it really is,” said Asche. “I think if you asked that question 10 years ago, probably really, really important. But I think this newer age of hitter, I don’t think they necessarily care all that much. They just want good information. And they want coaches that care and that can help them.

“I think myself having some experience in a major league setting, I think that just helps diversify our coaching staff just a little bit. To where, I can just be a voice in the room with Fuller and Borgs and help them understand things that maybe they haven’t gone through. So ultimately the message we deliver to the player is the best that we can give them.”

Asche said he’s probably been preparing for a role like this his whole career. He said he is infatuated with hitting and how young hitters can get better. He added that the coaches can be helpful even after the game has begun and said the Orioles have worked to make uniform how the dugout operates each night, from lower levels of the farm up through Baltimore.

“That is a process that really starts at A-ball within our organization," he said. "We’ve really made a big effort this past season to have some uniformity from the big leagues down in the way we kind of operate the dugout. From (Single-A) Delmarva all the way to the big leagues. So our players, from the second they get into our organization, are constantly learning how to engage with the scouting report that we have created on opposing pitchers. They know how to read that. There is quite a bit of information there. Everyone is different. Everyone wants different sorts of things before they go to the plate.

“Our job once the game starts is to use our feel and see what is going on and how the game is progressing. Evaluate some at-bats and kind of think critically through why a hitter may have been thinking a certain way. And then when pitchers come in, we are that first voice and the experts on as far as the bullpen guys go and how they will attack."

Now he is excited about the Orioles moving forward and joining an O's team that improved by 31 wins last year.

“Immensely. Immensely (upbeat about the future)," he said. "I was really fortunate that Matt (Blood) and Mike (Elias) really gave me a chance this past year and gave me kind of a large role in the minor leagues. It was a big year for us in the minors. We needed to have some development of some high-level players. We did a good job of putting those guys in good situations and we are really, really deep as an organization on the hitting side right now. Really, really fun to see A, the really good talent we have in the big leagues that still is developing skills and can get better as big leaguers. And then we have guys chomping at the bit to take off and start their own careers, too."

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