The Padres’ decision to hire Jayce Tingler as their next manager had a ripple effect that nudged Buck Britton into a new set of responsibilities.
Britton, who spent the 2019 season managing Double-A Bowie, has replaced Tingler as manager of Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League.
Tingler was working for the Rangers as major league player development field coordinator. Britton was expecting to serve in a coaching capacity with Escogido.
Gilbert Gómez become quality control coach under Britton, who guided the Baysox to the Eastern League finals and was named the organization’s co-Minor League Manager of the Year with Single-A Delmarva’s Kyle Moore and the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League’s Alan Mills.
All three managers will return in 2020, with Moore expected to move up to high Single-A Frederick as Ryan Minor’s replacement.
* The work done to fill out the coaching staffs with each minor league affiliate seems to be a collaborative effort between executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias, assistant Sig Mejdal and director of player development Matt Blood.
Blood was hired last month after serving in the same role with the Rangers and later becoming their director of baseball innovation. He had worked as director of USA Baseball’s 18-and-under national team and as a Cardinals area scout, which first linked him to Elias and Mejdal.
“He spent three years there (with USA Baseball). They had a lot of success,” Elias said last month.
“The role he was in there and the way he went about the role, he became very plugged into this whole burgeoning world of technology oriented player development that we all find ourselves in now. I know him. He’s got a lot of skills. He’s a real talented guy. He’s real energetic.
“We’re going to be doing a ton of hiring and kind of starting off a lot of new practices. I’d like him to spearhead those areas for us. And we’re going to have a lot of recruiting this winter that is going to be necessary. We have a lot of other things going on, so Sig and I and Brandon (Hyde) cannot worry about it ourselves. I think bringing him in for those reasons is going to be huge to keep us evolving in the player development space.”
* Dean Kremer tossed 2 1/3 scoreless relief innings in yesterday’s Arizona Fall League championship game.
The Salt River Rafters defeated the Surprise Saguaros 5-1 to prevent seven players in the Orioles organization from winning the title.
Kremer, the third pitcher used by Surprise, allowed one hit, walked a batter and struck out three. He entered the championship round with a 2.37 ERA and 0.89 WHIP with 23 strikeouts in 19 innings.
The Orioles will place Kremer on the 40-man roster prior to the Winter Meetings and likely option him to Triple-A Norfolk to start the 2020 season. He needs a healthy spring training after reporting last year with a strained oblique and certainly could make his major league debut over the summer.
* Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann has appeared in 61 minor league games and only once came out of the bullpen, his lone relief appearance on July 17 with Bowie. He followed Nate Karns, who was on an injury rehab assignment, and allowed two earned runs and four total in four innings.
Does he stay a starter?
A scout from outside the organization watched Zimmermann before the Orioles promoted the lefty to Norfolk on July 28 and offered the opinion that he eventually should transition to a relief role.
“I see him moving to the ‘pen,” the scout said. “He can pitch multiple innings. He has enough fastball at 91-93 mph.”
Zimmermann, a Baltimore native and part of the return from the Braves in the Kevin Gausman/Darren O’Day trade, posted a 2.10 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and .188 average-against versus left-handed hitters in the Eastern League. He allowed two runs with 44 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings against Single-A left-handed hitters in 2018.
“He handles left-handed hitters extremely well with his slider and the angle of his pitches,” the scout said. “His changeup works well off his fastball.”
The top priority is to develop starters and Zimmermann figures to be in Norfolk’s rotation next April. We’ll find out later how the Orioles view him in the long term and whether they’d consider him in relief.