DETROIT - The Orioles didn’t wait until the offseason to name a new director of player development.
Matt Blood has been hired to fill the role, with the club making the announcement this afternoon.
Blood had served as director of baseball innovation with the Rangers, who hired him in November 2018 as director of player development. He’s in charge of staff recruitment, technology programs and player development strategies throughout the minor leagues.
Blood basically is the replacement for Brian Graham, who was fired with one year left on his contract. Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias has been handling many of the duties, with assistance from Kent Qualls, one of the holdovers from the previous front office.
Qualls will continue as director of minor league operations.
The Rangers hired Blood after he spent the previous three years as USA Baseball’s as director of the 18-and-under National Team Program. He spent seven seasons as an area scout in the Cardinals organization, where he worked with Elias.
The Orioles also announced a series of title and duty changes:
Kevin Buck has been named director of baseball administration. He will oversee major league team operations, transactions, budgets, and rules compliance. Buck previously served as the director of team travel for the Orioles.
Mike Snyder has been named director of pro scouting. He will be responsible for leading and organizing the evaluation of professional players across all levels. Snyder previously served as the director of Pacific Rim operations and baseball development for the Orioles.
Brad Ciolek has been promoted to supervisor, domestic scouting operations. Ciolek will continue his duties of managing day-to-day operations of the domestic scouting staff and will coordinate all preparation efforts for the amateur draft.
Di Zou has been promoted to manager, baseball systems. He will continue to assume a growing role in building out the Orioles’ digital workspaces and analytics capabilities.
Hendrik Herz and Chad Tatum have been promoted to scouting analysts. In these newly created roles, Herz and Tatum will evaluate amateur players for the draft using video, data and in-person evaluations.
“We are pleased to announce these moves as we continue to organize and construct our new front office,” Elias said in a statement released by the club. “Matt has an unrivaled network when it comes to identifying up-and-coming coaching talent, and his knowledge of the latest trends in the player development sphere will help to keep us on the forefront of this critical area. In giving new opportunities to our staff members, we recognize their ability to help us continue to build the base of young talent in this organization.
“I anticipate many more hires and additions to our baseball operations department as we proceed into the offseason.”
Hanser Alberto is leading off today and playing third base. Alberto leads the majors with a .408 average against left-handers and the Tigers are sending Tyler Alexander to the mound.
With four scoreless innings yesterday, the Orioles bullpen leads the majors with a 2.99 ERA over 90 1/3 innings since Aug. 20.
For the Orioles
Hanser Alberto 2B
Trey Mancini RF
Anthony Santander LF
Renato Núñez 1B
Jonathan Villar 2B
Mark Trumbo DH
Austin Hays CF
Pedro Severino C
Richie Martin SS
John Means LHP
Here are the listed starters for the series against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards:
Tuesday: TBD (Chandler Shepherd) vs. Trent Thornton
Wednesday: Dylan Bundy vs. Clay Buchholz
Thursday: Aaron Brooks vs. Anthony Kay
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is opening Brooks Robinson Field on Tuesday at Frederick Douglass High School. The new state-of-the-art field will be home field for Frederick Douglass High School’s softball and baseball teams that used to practice on concrete surfaces.
This is a synthetic turf field designed for baseball and softball competition, including a removable mound, dugouts, digital scoreboard and bleachers. Also, MLBPA and the MLB Youth Development Foundation have provided a batting cage for use by the Mighty Ducks baseball and softball programs
Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr., Billy Ripken, and Eddie Murray will attend the event.
The Ripken Foundation has completed 88 multipurpose synthetic turf facilities in 23 states and Washington, D.C., including 13 completed parks throughout Maryland.