With just about two months to go until Opening Day, the Orioles finally announced their 2019 coaching staff on Wednesday evening, making official the scattered reported hires that have been made by Mike Elias, Brandon Hyde, and company throughout the last month or so.
The coaches and their roles are as follows:
- Arnie Beyeler - First Base Coach
- Doug Brocail - Pitching Coach
- Tim Cossins - Major League Field Coordinator/Catching Instructor
- Jose Flores - Third Base Coach
- Jose Hernandez - Major League Coach
- Don Long - Hitting Coach
- John Wasdin - Bullpen Coach
- Howie Clark - Assistant Hitting Coach
There are some holdovers from within the organization on this coaching staff after all. Clark was the assistant hitting coach under Buck Showalter for the past two seasons, while Wasdin served as the Orioles minor league pitching coordinator for the prior two years before getting bumped up to the MLB staff under the new regime. Hernandez has been on the Triple-A Norfolk staff for the past six seasons and in the O’s organization for ten.
Of interest to me and perhaps no one else, none of these coaches are titled the bench coach. Elias did say that there would be job titles that haven’t existed here getting hired.
At the press conference announcing his hire, Hyde said he would be looking for coaches with a player development background. It’s a good guess that the O’s went out searching for guys who can help them polish some rough young players into the best versions of themselves that they can be.
Some highlights from the experience of each of the new and old hires:
First Base Coach Arnie Beyeler
Most recently managed the Triple-A New Orleans affiliate for the Marlins for the past three seasons. Beyeler, 54, was the first base coach/outfield instructor at the MLB level for the Red Sox for the three years before that. This will be his 28th season as either a manager, coach, or scout with an organization.
Pitching Coach Doug Brocail
The 51-year-old Brocail has been the Rangers pitching coach for the past three seasons. The former #12 overall draft pick had a 15-year MLB career before transitioning into coaching and front office work. He’s probably known to Elias from time in the Astros organization from 2011-15, including three seasons as the pitching coach at the MLB level there.
Major League Field Coordinator/Catching Instructor Tim Cossins
For the past six seasons, Cossins has been the minor league field/catching coordinator in the Cubs organization. Safe to guess he crossed paths with Hyde a good bit there. Cossins, 48, will be in his 18th season as either a manager, coach, or bullpen catcher. Ten of his 18 years of experience came in the Marlins organization.
Third Base Coach Jose Flores
Last year, the 48-year-old Flores was the first base coach for the Phillies, also coaching the infield and serving as baserunning instructor. Before that, it was five seasons as the minor league infield coordinator for the Cubs. The 2019 season will represent his 19th season as either a coach or manager.
Major League Coach Jose Hernandez
What is a Major League Coach? Your guess is as good as mine! What I can tell you is that Hernandez, 49, had a 15-year MLB career that included an All-Star appearance with Milwaukee in 2002 before making his way into the coaching ranks with the O’s in 2010.
Hitting Coach Don Long
In hiring the 56-year-old Long, the O’s have plucked someone who spent the past five seasons in the same role with the Reds. Overall, this will be his 33rd season as either a coach or a manager.
Bullpen Coach John Wasdin
Wasdin was a reliever with the O’s all the way back in 2001, one of the 12 seasons he spent as a big leaguer. Before the O’s made him the minor league pitching coordinator, he was a pitching coach in the Athletics organization for six seasons. This will be his first big league coaching job.
Assistant Hitting Coach Howie Clark
Clark, another former Oriole, returns from Showalter’s staff to Hyde’s. He’s been a coach with the O’s for five seasons. You can count me curious about what it is about Clark’s skillset that made the new O’s brain trust decide that it would be worth keeping him around rather than hiring literally anyone else. Perhaps Clark was analytics-curious on the side even if his old bosses never empowered him to receive or share advanced information with the players.
According to the FanFest interview schedule, the coaching staff, or at least some of them, are expected to be there on Saturday. Maybe they will say something interesting and even exciting.