The Orioles remain in the process of interviewing candidates to fill the vacant positions on their major league coaching staff and piecing together the minor league side.
The team has to replace first base coach/outfield instructor Arnie Beyeler, assistant hitting coach Howie Clark and bullpen coach John Wasdin. Everyone else has been invited back for the 2020 season.
There doesn’t appear to be anything imminent on that front. I’m not expecting any announcements in the near future.
Meanwhile, one of the biggest changes in the minors pertains to the hiring of five permanent coaches for each level. I’ve written a little about the expanded staffs, and the plan is coming more into focus.
A development coach will concentrate on data and analytics assistance for the players and rest of the staff, while the fundamentals coach will handle a more traditional baseball role.
The list of confirmed development coaches, per sources, includes Eli Steinfield, Grant Anders, Dave Berry and Matt Packer.
Steinfield has been employed by the Astros as a player development technology apprentice and he’s well-versed in TrackMan Baseball. Anders worked for the Reds in baseball operations.
Packer was the hitting coach at Post University in Connecticut and started out at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He’s also been lauded for his data-driven approach.
Anthony Villa and Patrick Jones are new hitting coaches in the lower levels, with more mid-level hires coming soon. Christian Frias also is joining the organization as a Rookie-level hitting coach.
Villa played in the White Sox system. Jones played at Xavier University before transitioning to a role as hitting instructor.
Frias was hitting and infield coach at Wabash Valley College in Illinois after playing in the Blue Jays system. He’s the godson of Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.
The Orioles are waiting to confirm the exact pairings of coaches and affiliates until the rest of the hires are completed. Hence, the somewhat vague descriptions.
I wrote earlier this month that Sean Berry is expected to come back to the organization as Triple-A Norfolk hitting coach, a role he held from 2015-17. It isn’t 100 percent official, from what I’m hearing, but very close.
Berry spent the 2018 season as Marlins minor league hitting coordinator and was the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp’s hitting coach this summer. Prior to his stint with the Tides, he served as Astros minor league hitting coordinator and hitting coach and Padres minor league hitting coordinator.
Berry is going to replace Butch Davis, who’s joining Double-A Bowie’s coaching staff after spending the past two seasons with Norfolk.
* The Orioles were shut out yesterday in Rawlings Gold Glove finalists. Good luck finding anyone who’s shocked by the news.
The team won’t have a Gold Glove winner for a fourth consecutive year. They didn’t have a finalist in 2018.
Third baseman Manny Machado was a finalist in 2017, but he didn’t win.
Today’s question: Which Orioles player from the 2019 season has the best shot at becoming a Gold Glove finalist?