Gary Kendall named manager at Triple-A Norfolk

Beyond the outside hires that have been made public via Twitter, the Orioles also are shuffling minor league personnel to fill vacancies at multiple levels of their farm system.

The Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk has announced the promotion of manager Gary Kendall, 55, from Double-A Bowie. Kendall will replace Ron Johnson. Buck Britton, 32, is moving up from low Single-A Delmarva to Bowie as Kendall’s replacement, according to sources.

An announcement from the Orioles is pending on the composition of the minor league staffs.

Kendall spent the previous eight seasons at Bowie and set the franchise record with 570 wins. He led the Baysox to three postseason appearances and their lone Eastern League championship, which came in 2015.

The Sparrows Point High graduate is entering his 20th season in the organization.

baseballs-in-bin-sidebar.jpgKendall will be just the third Tides manager since Norfolk became an Orioles affiliate in 2007, following Gary Allenson (2007-11) and Johnson (2012-18).

“Gary Kendall has an excellent track record of developing quality talent, and we’re excited to see him make the jump to Triple-A this season,” Tides general manager Joe Gregory said in a statement. “We’ve heard nothing but good things about Gary from our friends in Bowie, and we’re eager to see him guide the next wave of talented players through the Orioles system.”

Norfolk opens the regular season on April 4 at Gwinnett and kicks off the home portion of its schedule on April 11 versus Toledo.

Johnson had managed Norfolk for the past seven seasons and was the longest-tenured skipper in the International League. He led the Tides to a 69-71 record in 2018 and a 491-511 mark over seven seasons. The 2015 team won the South Division, and Johnson was named the league’s Manager of the Year.

Johnson received the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award in 2015 and 2018.

Mike Griffin remains at Norfolk as pitching coach, but a new field coach is needed, with José Hernández joining the major league staff.

Britton, the older brother of former Orioles closer Zach Britton, replaced Ryan Minor as Delmarva manager prior to the 2018 season. Minor moved up to high Single-A Frederick.

A first-time manager after spending one season as hitting coach, Britton guided the Shorebirds to a 68-66 record in the South Atlantic League.

The Orioles drafted Britton in the 35th round in 2008 and he stayed in the organization through 2014 before finishing his playing career in the Dodgers and Twins systems.

Kennie Steenstra remains at Bowie as pitching coach. No word on Britton’s replacement at Delmarva.

I’ve written that Alan Mills is going to manage the Gulf Coast League team and Tim Raines Jr. no longer is the hitting coach at short-season Single-A Aberdeen. And the Orioles have hired Harford Community College coach Tom Eller and Nova Southeastern University pitching coach Justin Ramsey, according to their Twitter accounts.

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