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 on Oct. 31, but he’s in line to be included on manager Brandon Hyde’s staff.
Clark served as Single-A Delmarva’s hitting coach in 2015 and Double-A Bowie’s hitting coach the following year. He broke into the majors with the Orioles in 2002, slashing .302/.362/.396 in 58 plate appearances, and appeared in seven games after rejoining them in 2006.
No one on former manager Buck Showalter’s staff was expected to stay with the major league club.
There’s a bit of confusion because I also heard that Triple-A Norfolk field coach José Hernández is expected to receive a promotion to the Orioles. He’s spent the past nine years in the organization, the last six with the Tides.
Hernández played 15 years in the majors, including seven with the Cubs. He’s been overdue for a major league coaching position.
So, what’s the plan here?
The Orioles could keep Clark as their assistant hitting coach and make Hernández an extra coach to replace Einar Díaz, who joined Triple-A Gwinnett’s staff. Hernández could assist with infield instruction.
Doug Brocail has been hired as pitching coach and Don Long as hitting coach. I’ve also written that José Flores is expected to coach third base and work with the infielders and Arnie Beyeler is expected to coach first base and work with the outfielders.
This arrangement appears to leave Tim Cossins, the catching guru, as bench coach. And John Wasdin is expected to serve as bullpen coach after Chris Holt replaced him as minor league pitching coordinator.
Let’s see if it actually plays out this way.
Note: Ticketmaster inadvertently oversold the FanFest autograph sessions with Brooks Robinson and Eddie Murray on Jan. 26 at the Baltimore Convention Center and is providing refunds.
The Orioles are offering a free ticket to anyone who made a purchase beyond the 250 available vouchers and also are giving fans the opportunity to receive a free autograph in-person from Robinson or Murray.
Classy move by the Orioles, considering that it wasn’t their mistake.