As the Orioles continue to search for a new baseball management regime, work continues on construction of the 2019 team. By Friday, the Orioles have to reinstate the players who are on the 60-day disabled list, and they began making room when they placed outfielder John Andreoli on waivers, and he was snapped up by the Seattle Mariners.
Andreoli, who was claimed from the Mariners on Aug. 18, batted .232 in 23 games. With the large number of young outfielders expected to compete for jobs next spring, there wasn’t room for Andreoli.
The roster is at 39, and designated hitter Mark Trumbo, outfielder Austin Hays, pitchers Pedro Araujo, Richard Bleier and Gabriel Ynoa, who are on the 60-day DL, must replace players on the 40-man roster.
One player who has already been removed is Adam Jones, who’s set for free agency. Other names will surface shortly.
On Tuesday, the Orioles added pitcher Branden Kline to the roster, and they’ll soon add Dillon Tate, a right-hander obtained in the Zach Britton trade. Catcher Martin Cervenka, who is in the Arizona Fall League, is also likely to be added.
Wednesday was a busy day at the Warehouse, and contracts were sent out to returning minor league staffers. It was also the last official day of employment for executive vice president Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter, whose departures were announced four weeks ago.
Brian Graham, the head of player development, is handling the general manager’s duties on an interim basis as the search for new leadership continues.
Norfolk manager Ron Johnson was informed last week that he wasn’t coming back after seven years as Tides manager.
A number of front-office personnel closely connected with Duquette have reportedly been told they won’t be back, including Lee Thomas, Joe McIlvaine and John Stockstill. Stockstill, who was Graham’s predecessor as minor league director, had a number of roles with the team over the past 13 years. Thomas and McIlvaine’s departures were reported by MASNSports.com and Stockstill’s by former ESPN.com reporter Jerry Crasnick.
Stephen Walters, a Loyola University professor of economics, who had served as an adviser to Duquette, won’t return. Jeremy Kapstein, who has been an assistant to Duquette for the last three years, has also left the team.
When the Orioles announced they were parting ways with Duquette and Showalter, they also announced that Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson and Scouting Director Gary Rajsich remain under contract.
The General Managers meetings begin Monday in Carlsbad, Calif., and it appears that the Orioles will not have a head of baseball operations named in time to attend. The Winter Meetings in Las Vegas begin Dec. 9.
Contracts for Orioles coaches also expired Wednesday, and no one has been assured of a position for 2019.
Bench coach John Russell and first base coach Wayne Kirby have been with the Orioles for eight seasons; Bobby Dickerson (third base) for six; Scott Coolbaugh (hitting) for four. Pitching coach Roger McDowell and bullpen coach Alan Mills were with the team for the last two seasons. Assistant hitting coach Howie Clark (two seasons) and major league coach Einar Diaz (six seasons) also face uncertain futures.
Arizona Fall League update
Bowie outfielder Ryan McKenna won the fans vote and will play in the AFL All-Star Game on Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz. McKenna is batting .404 with a home run and seven RBIs in 12 games.
The Orioles minor leaguers are playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs, managed by minor league infield coordinator Dave Anderson. The Desert Dogs are 8-11, and their final regular-season game is Nov. 15.
Infielder Steve Wilkerson, who concluded his season with the Orioles, is batting .270 with four RBIs in 11 games, and Cervenka is hitting .222 with seven RBIs in nine games.
Right-hander Tanner Chleborad, who pitched for Bowie last season, is 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in seven games. Another Baysox right-hander, Jay Flaa, is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in six games. Left-hander Chris Lee, who pitched for both Norfolk and Bowie, is 0-1 with a 2.19 ERA in four starts. Taylor Erwin, a left-hander who pitched for Frederick, is 0-1 with 3.68 ERA.