How do you suppose the Orioles decide whether the hitting coach for the Frederick Keys is doing a good job? What about the manager of the Gulf Coast League Orioles? These among numerous other coaches will be brought back for the 2014 season, the Orioles announced on Thursday as they dumped a slew of contextless information on an unsuspecting public.
For Triple-A Norfolk, the entire staff from last year will be returning, right on down to strength and conditioning coach Ryo Naito. This includes manager Ron Johnson, who, the press release helpfully notes, guided the Tides to a 77-67 record in 2013. Big league manager Buck Showalter has spoken in the past about how he coordinates with Johnson to ensure that players who may be needed at the MLB level are kept fresh, especially pitchers. Johnson is clearly on board with a bigger plan than just winning games in the International League, though it can't hurt that he wins games too.
At Double-A Bowie, that staff will also be returning. Gary Kendall will be entering his fourth year as the Baysox manager and his 11th year as a manager in the O's organization. Pitching coach Blaine Beatty is back for his second year. Good job.
There is a sarcastic and dismissive tone to this post for two reasons. One is that this is what passes for news. The other is that, given the Orioles general failure to have any kind of home-grown pitching prospect live up to the hype, maybe bringing back all of the same guys isn't the best idea.
But who knows where all that went wrong? Was the problem the minor league coaches or the major league coaches, or was it with the scouts, or with the pitchers themselves? How do you know who could do a better job? There is a whole lot to being a GM other than moves with players on the 40-man roster.
Frederick and Delmarva will be swapping managers in 2014. Former Oriole Ryan Minor, who had been managing Delmarva for several years, was the Keys manager in 2013 and will be returning to Delmarva in 2014. Does that mean he just couldn't handle the Carolina League? Who knows? Maybe he liked the Eastern Shore more than Western Maryland. Luis Pujols will be the Keys manager for 2014.
Overall, the Orioles minor league operations will be headed by director Kent Qualls, with player development being headed by director Brian Graham. I am happy to report to you that no one by the name Stockstill appears anywhere on this organizational chart for player development, although apparently John still remains as director of player personnel and he scouts the Pacific Rim. Maybe it's his fault the Orioles won't be attempting to sign Masahiro Tanaka! Probably not.
Rick Peterson remains as director of pitching development, though it feels like it's been over a full year since we heard any other word or confirmation of his continued existence on the mortal coil.
Mike Bordick will continue as a special assignment instructor. Presumably, they have him work around his MASN duties. Hopefully he can impart some wisdom from his playing days on a crop of younger players.
If you're interested, or bored, you can view the full list of coaching and staff announcements on the Orioles website.
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