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Castro would find relief in throwing more strikes

The two scoreless innings that reliever Miguel Castro worked on Sept. 22 in New York might seem insignificant when cast in the overall picture. The Orioles were barreling toward another loss and destined to finish with the worst record in the majors and in franchise history. Seven batters faced after replacing starter David Hess in the sixth and just one hit allowed on a Gleyber

Stewart and Hays working to get into outfield competition

While revealing at FanFest that finding more pitching is the top offseason roster priority for the Orioles, executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias didn’t deny that the outfield, infield and catching position also could be addressed before opening day. The Orioles remain in an infield frenzy as they increase the competition for starting and utility jobs. They selected Richie Martin with the first

Bonding process continues to unfold in Orioles organization

New Orioles manager Brandon Hyde is seeking ways to familiarize himself with his players, the minicamp earlier this month in Sarasota and Saturday’s FanFest event at the Baltimore Convention Center providing two convenient and effective methods. The coaches are learning about the players, Hyde as a manager and each other. Much of it happens behind the scenes, but the enthusiasm was put on display over

Orioles claim Jack Reinheimer off waivers

The Orioles keep building infield depth and increasing their options as they move through the offseason. The latest utility candidate arrived today in Jack Reinheimer, claimed off waivers from the Rangers. Pitcher Austin Brice was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. Reinheimer, 26, was a fifth-round pick of the Mariners in 2013 out of East Carolina University who appeared in 21

Getting to know the new coaching staff

DJ Stewart cut through the media room Saturday at FanFest, spotted Richie Martin and yelled “Noles!” The Rule 5 pick stopped the interview, smiled and replied “Gators!” The trash talk should be fun at spring training. Meanwhile, six of the eight coaches on manager Brandon Hyde’s staff participated in FanFest and were introduced to the media. John Wasdin and Howie Clark recognized some of the

Health news is good for Orioles at FanFest

The hours that ticked away after the last remnants of the crowd at FanFest had spilled onto the sidewalks outside the Baltimore Convention Center could be spent reviewing and dissecting some of the bullet points from the annual event. Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias stressed again that his primary goal is to improve the level of talent throughout the organization. Don’t obsess

Chris Davis on willingness to “exhaust all options” and more

The interview portion of FanFest is wrapping up, with only a few more players being led into the media room on the third level of the Baltimore Convention Center. Chris Davis’ session lasted the longest, at more than 14 minutes, as he revisited a nightmarish 2018 season, the changes in his workouts and nutrition, his enthusiasm over being a leader in the clubhouse and how

FanFest notes on Harvey, Mancini, Trumbo and more

Six of the eight coaches on manager Brandon Hyde’s staff are present today at FanFest at the Baltimore Convention Center. Third base coach José Flores and major league coach José Hernández were unable to attend. Vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson is here, but pretty much out of view as he attends meetings. The Orioles announced the FanFest attendance at 8,000, though it’s possible

More from Elias at FanFest

Mike Elias headed to the third level of the Baltimore Convention Center following the Q&A session with season plan holders. It was the media’s turn to ask the questions. On no former manager in the dugout as part of coaching staff: “Definitely, that was a consideration and attractive, but we were working with the people available and the scenarios and the people we wanted to

Early notes and quotes from Elias and Hyde

Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde spent about 30 minutes this morning fielding questions on the main stage from season plan holders to kick off the latest FanFest event at the Baltimore Convention Center. Elias repeated that his primary goal in 2019 is to increase the level of talent up and down the organization. The overall record seems

Prepping for today’s FanFest

The annual FanFest event at the Baltimore Convention Center is being held today, giving fans an opportunity to grill executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias, manager Brandon Hyde and his coaching staff, assistant general manager Sig Mejdal and senior director of international scouting Koby Perez in various forums for Birdland Membership holders and the general public. They won’t offer timelines for contention or

Eighteen non-roster players invited to Orioles spring training

The Orioles are inviting 18 non-roster players to spring training, with the possibility of further additions depending on other moves that could be made before pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 12. The group of invites includes eight pitchers - right-handers Dean Kremer, Gregory Infante, Gabriel Ynoa, Zach Pop, Josh Lucas and Bo Schultz, and left-handers Chris Lee and Sean Gilmartin. Also receiving lockers at

Latest on Mills and major league coaches

The shuffling in the Orioles’ minor league system is expected to reach down to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. While the club hasn’t made an announcement regarding its affiliates, I’ve heard that Alan Mills will serve as manager for the GCL team. And this is a new level and role for the former reliever. Mills is replacing Carlos Tosca, who spent the past two summers

Wondering how Mullins and Villar stack up in lineup

The closer we get to the start of spring training, with the first Orioles workout set for Feb. 13, the fewer chances exist for manager Brandon Hyde to escape the inevitable lineup questions. Hyde has been studying and learning about the personnel in the organization, taking private courses in December during his flights to and from Maui and extending them through the following month. He’s

Orioles announce coaching staff for 2019 season

The Orioles have unveiled their coaching staff for the 2019 season under new manager Brandon Hyde and it includes one holdover from last summer. Howie Clark returns as assistant hitting coach after the Orioles offered him a minor league contract following the expiration of his previous deal on Oct. 31. He’ll work with new hitting coach Don Long, who spent the past five seasons with

This, that and the other

As the Orioles continue making their final preparations for this weekend’s FanFest event at the Baltimore Convention Center, they’re also nearing the announcements on their major league and minor league coaching staffs and their non-roster invitees to spring training. One domino falls and others will tumble. The list of invitees could include infielders Ryan Mountcastle, Jace Peterson, Engelb Vielma, Sean Miller and Zach Vincej, outfielders

Time to find out whether Mussina is headed to Hall of Fame

We’ll find out later today whether former Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina is going into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown or stuck again outside of its doors while the debate continues to rage over his worthiness. I keep voting for Mussina as a nod to his amazing consistency during the “steroid era,” as it’s become to be known, and while pitching in the grueling American

Losing a father and a hero

I thought that I had more time. More time to be with my dad even after the August diagnosis of esophagus cancer and the later news that it was Stage 4. Even after the stroke he suffered last Monday that put him in a hospital in Salisbury. Even after his oncologist decided last week to stop the treatments, my dad’s body no longer able to

Mullins on FanFest, his debut and staying humble

Should we read anything into a FanFest autograph lineup that places Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins between first baseman Chris Davis and infielder Jonathan Villar at Station 1? Does this lend further credence to the notion that Mullins will sit atop another lineup, the one introduced on opening day? This could be a reach considering that Davis also is joined at Station 2 by minor

Checking on the coaches

Have the Orioles completed their coaching staff for the 2019 season? They seem to be done as long as the latest names to surface are accurate and there isn’t a sudden change of plans. I’m hearing that Howie Clark is likely to return after serving as assistant hitting coach for the past two seasons. He was offered a minor league contract after his deal expired

More on Davis and the catchers

The Orioles aren’t ready to announce their new coaching staff under manager Brandon Hyde, the assistant hitting coach believed to be the final piece. It’s expected to happen soon, well in advance of the beginning of spring training. First baseman Chris Davis knows that Don Long is replacing Scott Coolbaugh as hitting coach. He hadn’t heard any updates on the assistant hitting coach when we

Davis changes up winter workouts

A prearranged 3 p.m. phone interview didn’t materialize yesterday until much later, the former home run champion losing track of time during his latest hitting session in Texas. “I didn’t even realize how late it was,” said Chris Davis. “At least I have a legit excuse.” A really good one considering the scrutiny that he’s subjected to regarding his offseason work. Davis has changed up

Orioles release information on FanFest autograph stations

The Orioles are mixing their glorious past with what they’re hoping is going to become a promising future while announcing the autograph stations for their annual FanFest on Jan. 26 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray and Jim Palmer will sign for fans, the latter appearing at two of the three stations. Robinson and Murray were hired as special

Cashner on his health, Hyde and more

The top three starters in the Orioles rotation will report to spring training without the physical ailments that interrupted or ended their 2018 seasons. Dylan Bundy’s sprained left ankle has healed. Alex Cobb isn’t bothered by the blisters that surfaced on his right index and middle fingers. Andrew Cashner no longer has bursitis in his left knee. A cortisone injection administered in September didn’t provide

Brocail hired as Orioles pitching coach

The Orioles could be on the verge of announcing their coaching staff for the 2019 season as the last few vacancies are filled. Doug Brocail has been hired as pitching coach, according to an industry source. He’s going to replace Roger McDowell, whose contract expired on Oct. 31. Brocail, 51, spent the past three seasons as the Rangers pitching coach before his dismissal in November.

Tossing out free agent suggestions for the Orioles

The challenges for the Orioles in filling the holes in their roster include payroll limitations and enticing free agents without the promise of a winning season and playoff run. Using a championship ring as a selling point would ring hollow. We’ve gone over the list of needs, which more easily can be addressed via trades. Players don’t have a choice, of course. Infielder Jonathan Villar

Leftovers on Trumbo and upcoming meetings

One of the more popular offseason topics related to the Orioles is the implementation of analytics on a team that didn’t exactly embrace them in the past. They weren’t ignored, but getting everyone on the same page regarding their importance and how to use them was an impossible task. The levels of commitment to them resembled a staircase. Mark Trumbo is the latest Oriole to

Reviewing the coaches, arbitration figures and Trumbo’s recovery

An exact date for the Orioles to announce their coaching staff doesn’t exist. The closest you’ll get is “fairly soon,” or “shouldn’t be too much longer.” The process is playing out. Like everything else in a rebuild, patience is a requirement. No one from the 2018 staff is expected to stay in the organization. Third base coach Bobby Dickerson appeared to have a shot at

Wright on workouts, what went wrong and “fresh eyes” on him

The Orioles started their minicamp this weekend in Sarasota, an adjusted version of it that won’t be flooded with players and serves in large part to allow new hires to become more familiar with the complex. A handful of players already have been working out there, including pitcher Mike Wright Jr., catcher Chance Sisco and outfielder Austin Hays. Reliever Richard Bleier is joining them as

Orioles claim Hanser Alberto off waivers (arbitration update)

The need for more infield depth led the Orioles earlier today to make another waiver claim. The Orioles have brought Hanser Alberto into the organization, with catcher Andrew Susac designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster. Alberto, 26, can play all four infield positions and is a career .309/.330/.438 hitter in 1,000 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. He slashed .330/.346/.452 last

Orioles agree to terms with Villar, Bundy and Givens

None of the Orioles who are eligible for arbitration will be going to a hearing. The deals are done. The club has reached agreements with infielder Jonathan Villar, starter Dylan Bundy and reliever Mychal Givens on contracts for the 2019 season. An announcement will come later today. Terms aren’t immediately available. The Orioles acquired Villar, pitcher Luis Ortiz and infielder Jean Carmona from the Brewers

Sifting through roster moves and today’s arbitration deadline

The activity that’s been aimed at the Orioles’ 25- and 40-man rosters in the offseason hasn’t produced national headlines. There were three acquisitions in the Rule 5 draft and depth moves for the pitching staff, infield and catching position. Some of them haven’t been announced and there could be others still under wraps. The decision to use the first pick in the Rule 5 draft

“Piano Man” Billy Joel to play first concert at Camden Yards

The Orioles didn’t start the concert craze at major league ballparks, but they’re jumping into the fire. If this sentence even remotely resembles the lyrics from a Billy Joel song, my work here is almost done. The club announced today the launching of O’s Entertainment and in its partnership with Live Nation will host Joel this summer in the first concert at Camden Yards, which

The curious case of Cobb

A deeper dive into the Orioles roster brings up more questions regarding starter Alex Cobb and how he, like other veterans, fits into the rebuild. Whether it can hold the $43 million remaining on a contract that covers the next three seasons before he’s again eligible for free agency. Manager Brandon Hyde says he doesn’t believe in the word “rebuild.” He believes in “competing,” and

Constructing Orioles roster a gradual process

While the baseball world balances on the edge of its seats waiting for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper to sign their monstrous contracts, which will reduce the media’s baseball chatter by about 75 percent, the Orioles are quietly researching ways to fill out their roster. Much of the heavy lifting outside of it is done. Two big front office hires have been completed in executive

Trumbo on his role and future

Fans who are on board with the Orioles’ plans to undergo a rebuild have asked how Mark Trumbo fits into it. Trumbo runs the same question through his head. He turns 33 later this month, is recovering from knee surgery and is approaching the final year of a contract that pays him $11 million this summer with deferred payments of $1.5 million from 2020-22. There’s

O’s reach agreement with catcher Carlos Pérez on minors deal

The Orioles have made a move to improve their catching depth in the organization. Carlos Pérez, 28, has agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training pending the completion of a physical. He can earn a guaranteed $650,000 if he makes the Orioles roster. Pérez is a native of Venezuela who appeared in eight games with the Braves and 20 with

Updating Trumbo and Bleier’s recoveries from surgery

There wasn’t much Orioles news to come out of the Winter Meetings beyond the decision to hire Brandon Hyde as manager, whatever the zealous level of the reports. Roster rumblings pretty much were limited to the Rule 5 draft and a waiver claim of third baseman Rio Ruiz. But two injury updates were noteworthy. Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said he expected

Elias influence already heavy in Orioles organization

The appeal of bringing in Mike Elias as the head of baseball operations for the Orioles centered on his deep background in scouting and player development. His experience working the international market. His familiarity with analytics and an unwavering belief that they must be incorporated in today’s game in order to be competitive. The man has been entrusted with a variety of responsibilities over the

Orioles trade Breyvic Valera to Giants

The Orioles needed only one day to resolve their situation with infielder Breyvic Valera. Valera has been traded to the Giants for cash considerations, with both teams making the announcement. He was designated for assignment yesterday after the Orioles claimed pitcher Austin Brice off waivers from the Angels. A spot had to be opened for Brice on the 40-man roster and Valera was the casualty.

More on Perez, Maduro and expanded interest internationally

The process of hiring Koby Perez as the Orioles’ senior director of international scouting began immediately after the Winter Meetings and appeared to wrap up as the warehouse shut down for the holidays. Scout Calvin Maduro was given the news a few weeks ago, with the announcement coming on Wednesday. Perez, calling into the “Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan, said executive vice president

Orioles claim Austin Brice off waivers and DFA Breyvic Valera

The Orioles have added a right-handed reliever to their 40-man roster while subtracting a player who was set up to compete for a utility job in spring training. Austin Brice has been claimed off waivers from the Angels, with infielder Breyvic Valera designated for assignment in a corresponding move. Brice, 26, is 2-4 with a 5.68 ERA and 1.262 WHIP in 70 relief appearances over

Maduro on Perez: “I think it’s an outstanding hire”

The hiring of Koby Perez as the Orioles’ senior director of international scouting enabled executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias to reach further into his professional past, all the way to his Cardinals days in their scouting department. Elias also has brought in assistant Sig Mejdal, who worked with him in St. Louis and Houston, and minor league pitching coordinator Chris Holt, formerly

Elias and Perez address the media

The Orioles continue to hold the most international signing bonus slot money in baseball before the reset later this summer. However, they are conceding that the top-tier talent no longer is on the board and funds are more likely to be redirected. This is just one of the points made today during a conference call with executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias and

Wynns’ offseason includes instruction from Dempsey

A casual clubhouse conversation over the summer between a past and current Orioles catcher led to an offseason lunch, a lengthy workout and a relationship that could pay dividends on the field. Rick Dempsey, the former World Series Most Valuable Player and current MASN analyst who played in the majors for 24 seasons and owns two championship rings. Austin Wynns, a rookie at 27 trying

Orioles hire Koby Perez to head international scouting department

The restructuring of the Orioles’ front office and scouting department has led today to one of the more important hires of the offseason. The club announced that Koby Perez, 40, has been named senior director, international scouting and will report directly to executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias. Perez will oversee all aspects of the international scouting operations and management of the team’s

Wondering how the roster would look with its current options

The season isn’t starting today. The Orioles aren’t in the Bronx and Manny Machado still isn’t wearing pinstripes. The roster hasn’t really started to take shape unless you count a couple of Rule 5 picks who will compete for shortstop and utility jobs and a left-handed hitting third baseman to compete against a right-handed hitting third baseman. Keep a brown paper bag handy to prevent

A few ideas for the Orioles as they head into 2019

A new year carries with it the same tasks placed in front of executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias, assistant Sig Mejdal and manager Brandon Hyde. No one has been hired to replace director of player development Brian Graham and director of scouting Gary Rajsich. Only two coaches are known to have joined the staff, with a third offered a job in the

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