The Orioles have reached an agreement with first base coach Wayne Kirby on a contract for 2016, according to a source.
I’ve received confirmation on five of the coaches. Still no word on pitching coach Dave Wallace.
The Orioles were concerned that bullpen coach Dom Chiti might leave if he received a chance to become pitching coach in another organization, but he signed a new contract for 2016.
I’m sure it won’t quiet all the skeptics, but I’d like to state that Vance Worley has no shot at making the opening day start in 2016. The Orioles didn’t claim him off waivers yesterday for that purpose. And he isn’t being touted within the warehouse as a major acquisition.
Worley is an upgrade over reliever Jorge Rondon, who came off the 40-man roster. He’s got experience as a starter and reliever. He was third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2011 with the Phillies. There’s nothing wrong with bringing him to camp.
Other teams will be making these same waiver claims. It’s all part of doing business in the offseason.
Since the Orioles released their spring training schedule yesterday morning, I’ll remind everyone that they went 12-19-2 in Grapefruit League games last year. Their pitching staff posted a 4.19 ERA in 290 innings and the offense produced a .259/.309/.410 slash line with 152 runs scored in 33 games.
It meant nothing once the season started, of course. Starters are removed early in games, most of the regulars are excluded from road trips, moves that might be made during the regular season are bypassed. Buck Showalter doesn’t manage in the same manner with less emphasis on winning.
Once the spring training roster is set, we can attempt to guess the identity of the 2016 version of Jimmy Paredes, who shocked everyone by going 20-for-55 (.364) with seven doubles, a triple, two home runs, 12 RBIs and eight runs scored in 24 games. He led the team in hits and doubles, and he tied Chris Davis for first in RBIs.
Paredes would have made the opening day roster if not for a strained muscle in his lower back. He came off the disabled list on April 18 when Jonathan Schoop went on the DL with a partially torn PCL and sprained MCL in his right knee.
Paredes appears to be a long shot again to break camp with the Orioles, assuming he gets that far, after batting .216/.252/.265 in the second half and being a liability at third base and the outfield.
Without looking it up, tell me who led the Orioles in Grapefruit League home runs last spring. Answer to follow.
Good stats don’t guarantee a spot on the opening day roster. Nolan Reimold was reassigned to minor league camp after going 16-for-47 (.340) with a double, two home runs and nine RBIs, eight walks and seven runs scored in 24 games. He was out of options and the Orioles knew another team would claim him if they tried later to get him through waivers.
Matt Wieters went 0-for-23 in seven games, but the Orioles were focused more on his right elbow than his batting average.
Without looking it up, tell me who led the Orioles in Grapefruit League at-bats last spring. Answer to follow.
Trey Mancini received one at-bat after being summoned from minor league camp. He figures to have a much greater presence next spring. I keep talking to people inside and outside of the organization who can’t stop raving about him.
Chance Sisco also had one at-bat last spring. He needs to be on the camp roster so he can work with bench coach John Russell, who doubles as catching instructor.
Fans have been asking when they’re allowed to enter the Ed Smith Stadium complex. As always, the workouts are free and open to the public on the back fields. The first workout is Feb. 19, the day after pitchers and catchers are due to report.
Everth Cabrera led the Orioles with 63 at-bats, one more than Manny Machado.
Cabrera is a free agent again after the Giants signed him on July 16 and released him on Sept. 1. He has one hit in his first nine at-bats with Culiacan of the Mexican Winter League.