You may have noticed yesterday that former bullpen coach Dom Chiti was upset that the Orioles didn’t reach out to him about a new contract, which led to his departure and a new position with the Braves.
Meanwhile, executive vice president Dan Duquette wants to get a new pitching coach in place before focusing on a bullpen coach, feeling that Dave Wallace’s successor should have input. Chiti was a consideration for the post, but he never heard back from the Orioles and refused to campaign for it.
Chiti leaves behind fond memories of his three-year tenure in Baltimore. He states that his work speaks for itself - no argument here - and is reluctant to take credit for progress made by closer Zach Britton, right-handers Brad Brach and Mychal Givens and left-hander Donnie Hart, among others.
“I’m not going to sit here and tell you I helped Zach Britton,” Chiti said. “Look, Zach Britton helped Zach Britton. Brad Brach helped Brad Brach. Now whatever they choose to say, that’s up to them. I’m not going to sit here and beat my chest, but the body of work ...
“I’ll make it real simple for you. This game is about production. Did our guys get better? Go down the list. That’s my body of work and I’ll let it speak for itself.
“People asked me the other day, ‘Tell me about your three years in Baltimore,’ and I said, ‘Tremendous.’ And I mean that. Tremendous. I’m sure they’ll find other people and they’ll find other quality people and things will go on. It kind of is what it is.
“I don’t regret one second of three years. I mean that.”
Britton has no idea who could replace Chiti or Wallace.
“I think we’ve got some guys internally that obviously people have worked with in the past,” he said. “I think they warrant a look or an opportunity. But I don’t know what direction they’re leaning. I was expecting Dom to come back, so it’ll be interesting to see what direction they’re heading in.”
Britton’s wife, Courtney, is due with their second child in six days.
Duquette isn’t able to provide a timetable on new hires.
“We’re working on screening a number of candidates similar to what we did a couple years ago when they joined the organization. We have to do the same thing again,” he said. “We’re working on that this week and we’re also assembling the rest of the coaching staff.”
As I reported yesterday, Mark Quinn won’t return as assistant hitting coach.
“I think we’re focused on the pitching part of it and then we’re going to continue to assemble our staff at the same time we’re doing that,” Duquette said. “We’re not going to make any announcement until we have our staff together.”
“We’ve got five days,” he said. “It’s currently under consideration. We’re working on that, as well.”
It would be a major upset if Trumbo isn’t given the qualifying offer.
* If you’re already going through baseball withdrawal, don’t forget that the Arizona Fall League’s 11th annual Fall Stars Game is Saturday night on MLB Network.
Outfielder DJ Stewart will represent the Orioles on the West Division team.
Stewart is batting .226/.388/.340 with four doubles, a triple, five RBIs and 14 walks in 14 games with the Peoria Javelinas. In his last game, he had a run-scoring double and drew three walks.
The kid’s a work in progress, but he has a knack for getting on base.
“DJ Stewart’s doing pretty well,” Duquette said, noting the former first-round pick’s improvement after moving up to Single-A Frederick over the summer. “He’s got good discipline at the plate and he’s been playing well in the field and he’s hitting the ball with some authority, so I was glad to see him make the All-Star team.
“He’s got a much better approach. I don’t know if you’ve seen him, but he’s more upright in his stance. He’s not squatting down as much as he was when he first got into pro ball, so that’s a natural evolution as a hitter. He’s doing good. He’s a pro, he competes. He comes to work every day. Durable kid. Got some extra-base power. So good for him. He’s doing what he needs to do to make his way to the big leagues.”
The Orioles must decide whether to bump up Stewart to the Double-A Eastern League in 2017.
“He had a full year in A ball and he did a good job in high A,” Duquette said. “We sent him to the Arizona Fall League to try to get him ready for Double-A. Hopefully, he’ll get an opportunity to play there.”
* Former outfielder and current vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson was inducted last night into the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Orioles were well-represented within a packed room at Michael’s Eighth Ave. in Glen Burnie, the turnout including Duquette, Lou Angelos, manager Buck Showalter, director of baseball operations Tripp Norton, director of player development Brian Graham, director of minor league operations Kent Qualls, director of scouting Gary Rajsich, director of pacific rim operations/baseball development Mike Snyder, scout Dean Albany, team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs, director of public relations Kristen Hudak, media relations manager Jim Misudek, former pitcher and current pitching rehabilitation coordinator Scott McGregor, and former player and current MASN analyst Dave Johnson.
That’s not the full crew, but you get the picture.
Anderson has earned his share of accolades, including three All-Star appearances, but he was genuinely moved by last night’s honor. The emotions rose to the surface during his speech as he spoke about his father, Jerry, and 13-year-old daughter Brianna.
“To me, this is one of the best ones, for sure, because I got to share it with my daughter,” he said afterward. “She didn’t get to see me play. She’s really not that interested in watching old videos. She knows that I played, she’s aware, but I never really got to share anything like that with her. She was only a few months old during my Orioles Hall of Fame induction. So that’s why it meant so much to me.
“To be able to bring my dad and my daughter and have them both here, that meant everything to me.”
Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. surprised Anderson by walking into the room and introducing him to the crowd, offering up a couple of amusing stories before turning over the microphone to him.
“I had no clue, zero clue,” Anderson said. “I was going to call and invite him. I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to talk about him a little bit, but I don’t want to burden him.’ Cal and I were best friends, still are best friends, but we don’t talk on the phone much. I’ve always been respectful of his time and I knew that by asking, he’d say ‘yes,’ no matter what he had to do, so I didn’t want to burden him like that. But I couldn’t have been happier.
“It probably relaxed me, seeing him up there. I’m used to giving speeches, but they’re usually to set up Cal, so it was nice to have it the other way around.”
Other inductees included former Arundel High School and University of Maryland running back Louis Carter and longtime sportswriter and official scorer Jim Henneman.
* Online oddsmaker Bovada has the Orioles 22/1 to win the 2017 World Series. The Cubs are 7/2 favorites to repeat.
Chicago Cubs 7/2
Boston Red Sox 9/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 9/1
Washington Nationals 12/1
Cleveland Indians 14/1
New York Mets 14/1
San Francisco Giants 14/1
Toronto Blue Jays 14/1
Houston Astros 16/1
Texas Rangers 16/1
Baltimore Orioles 22/1
Detroit Tigers 22/1
St. Louis Cardinals 22/1
New York Yankees 25/1
Seattle Mariners 25/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 28/1
Kansas City Royals 33/1
Chicago White Sox 40/1
Miami Marlins 40/1
Los Angeles Angels 50/1
Colorado Rockies 66/1
Tampa Bay Rays 66/1
Milwaukee Brewers 75/1
Oakland Athletics 75/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 100/1
Atlanta Braves 100/1
Cincinnati Reds 100/1
Minnesota Twins 100/1
Philadelphia Phillies 100/1
San Diego Padres 100/1