Updates on new position, third base coach, PTBNL and more

The polls are closed, the votes are counted and the winners are Orioles fans who wanted some news and notes this morning.

For example:

* With Chris Holt moving to the dugout as pitching coach/director of pitching, the Orioles are going to recreate the position of minor league roving pitching coordinator.

It's on the organizational need list, from what I'm told.

That may not be the exact title, but the duties will be similar to what Holt did prior to becoming director of pitching this season. And what John Wasdin did before him.

As is the case with a few other vacancies, the person who's chosen could come from within or outside the organization.

Holt-Kneeling-at-Workout-Sidebar.jpgHolt is now tied to the major league team. Someone needs to roam and provide a strong voice looking at the minor league pitching program.

The hire will be in close contact with Holt and coordinate with him to create a good flow.

To be determined is who and when. But it's happening.

* A list of candidates is beginning to develop for third base coach after the Orioles declined to bring back José Flores next season.

The Orioles have fallback options internally, whether it's a coach on the staff or in the minors. The former option would require a reconfiguration, of course.

Among the possibilities that I've heard are moving first base coach Anthony Sanders or major league coach Fredi González to third.

However, the preference is to make a hire. The Orioles are tracking coaches who become available in the offseason.

Interviews will begin after the dust settles.

Filling Flores' role as an infield instructor is deemed the most important task, which makes it seem more likely that the replacement is someone who isn't on manager Brandon Hyde's staff. Whether he's an outside hire or based in the minors.

* There are a handful of vacant jobs in the minors, including Triple-A Norfolk hitting coach and Double-A Bowie fundamentals coach, with the Orioles declining to retain Sean Berry and Butch Davis, respectively.

Those searches are on hold as the Orioles try to determine whether there's going to be a minor league season and the contraction of an affiliate. The plan, however, is to fill each opening.

The hiring is going to be much slower than usual.

That also applies to athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches who must be replaced.

Mike Griffin has been informed that he won't return as pitching rehabilitation coach, responsibilities that formerly fell to Scott McGregor. The Orioles could have plenty of resources down in Sarasota, Fla., again based on the uncertainty of a minor league season, and one idea is to have rehab coordinator Dave Schmidt and instructors from the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League cover the rehab coaching program in 2021.

The plan can be revisited for 2022.

* The players to be named later in the Hector Velázquez and Tommy Milone trades could be identified as early as this morning.

Minor league players are allowed to be traded beginning at 9 a.m., which accounts for the delay. They basically were frozen unless assigned to an alternate camp site over the summer.

The prohibition is lifted this morning and there could be immediate contact with the Astros and Braves.

The Orioles announced the PTBNL for Richard Bleier, Mychal Givens and Miguel Castro prior to the final series of the season by dipping into the 60-man pools. Players had to be moved there in order to be eligible.

Unable to come up with three more spots in their own pool, the Orioles put the process on hold.

The Marlins sent infielder Isaac De León to the Orioles, the Rockies sent outfielder Mishael Deson and the Mets relinquished shortstop Victor González - all of them destined for the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. However, I'm hearing that at least one of the three unidentified players likely will come from a full-season affiliate.

That's the expectation, at least. Nothing can be guaranteed in a pandemic.

* The Orioles remain confident that pitching prospect Michael Baumann will avoid surgery after being shut down at the alternate camp site with a flexor mass strain in his right forearm.

The follow-up exams and imaging don't show any ligament damage. It's just muscular.

Baumann has been improving and is expected to begin throwing in a month, with the target date believed to be Dec. 6 or 8.

* Pitcher Carter Baumler, the fifth-round pick out of Dowling Catholic High School in Iowa, accounted for the only serious injury at the fall instructional camp.

Baumler, 18, tore his ulnar collateral ligament and underwent Tommy John surgery on Oct. 28 in Texas.

An unfortunate turn of events because Baumler is going to be out 12-18 months. And an unexpected one, considering how well he was throwing and how he had such a pristine entry physical.

As one person in the organization put it, "He just blew out all at once."

"To go from your elbow looks perfect and then six months later, on one pitch, a full tear, it was shocking," he said.

At least it happened to someone at the front end of his minor league career rather than entering the major league picture and approaching inclusion on the 40-man roster.

The Orioles gave Baumler a $1.5 million bonus, well beyond the slot value of $422,300. He'll have to endure the year-plus removal from pitching and then however long it takes for his skills to come back in full.

We could be talking two full years.

Otherwise, the only physical issues in camp were a few hamstring and oblique tweaks and next-day elbow soreness. Nothing to cause a prolonged shutdown.

* Because fans keep asking, there's nothing new regarding first baseman Chris Davis. I don't know what else can be reported.

He's under contract and the Orioles seem intent on carrying him at least through 2021, especially with the possibility of another truncated season and adjusted salaries.

An expansion of rosters makes it easier, as well. No one is going to be blocked.

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