Under Elias, Oriole hires are younger, more diverse and have varied backgrounds - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Under Elias, Oriole hires are younger, more diverse and have varied backgrounds

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

With the announcement of the composition of the Orioles’ minor league staffs on Monday, and later news that Anthony Sanders has been hired as first base coach, it’s clear that the Orioles’ front office staff, player development personnel and coaches are getting younger.

The news of Sanders’ hiring, which was expected and reported by MASNsports.com and confirmed by an industry source, is just another sign that the people hired by Executive Vice President/General Manager Mike Elias come from diverse backgrounds.

They also don’t have to have Oriole experience, major league experience, or in many cases, even professional baseball experience.

Sanders, who’s 45, played just 13 major league games in parts of three seasons with Toronto and Seattle. He replaces Arnie Beyeler, a 55-year-old longtime minor league manager who coached first base and instructed the outfielders in 2019.

Sanders, who has worked in the Colorado system, worked with the Orioles’ new player development director, Matt Blood, at USA Baseball.

The Orioles are still in the process of interviewing for a bullpen coach to replace John Wasdin and an assistant hitting coach, the job held by Howie Clark the previous three seasons.

Wasdin was the Orioles’ minor league pitching coordinator until Elias arrived and brought with him Chris Holt, who supplanted Wasdin and was announced as the team’s director of pitching Monday.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail, catching coordinator Tim Cossins, who served as de facto bench coach, third base/infield coach Jose Flores, major league coach Jose Hernandez and hitting coach Don Long are expected to return, although some roles could change.

Brocail and Hernandez had distinguished major league careers, but Cossins, Flores and Long never played in the majors, although Long was a longtime hitting coach with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

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Each of the six Orioles’ minor league managers was in the organization in 2018, but there was heavy turnover among pitching and, especially, hitting coaches.

Only 53-year-old Sean Berry, who played 11 seasons in the majors, has significant major league playing or professional coaching experience.

Berry, who was the Astros’ major league coach before Elias’ arrival in Houston, returns as Triple-A Norfolk’s hitting coach, a position he held from 2015-2017.

Of the other hitting coaches, only Tom Eller, the longtime coach at Harford County Community College, has any professional experience in that job and last season, where he coached at Low-A Delmarva and Short Season Aberdeen, was his first.

Tim Gibbons (Bowie), Ryan Fuller (Delmarva) and Patrick Jones (Gulf Coast) come from private hitting schools. Anthony Villa (Aberdeen) played three seasons in the Chicago White Sox organization and last year with the Texas Rangers as a coach.

The Orioles did keep one veteran pitching coach, Kennie Steenstra, who’s spent 16 years in the organization. He moves up from Double-A Bowie to Norfolk.

Justin Ramsey (Bowie), who is pictured above with Elias, moves up from Delmarva, where he spent 2019 after a career as a college coach. Robbie Aviles replaces Ramsey in Delmarva. He was in Aberdeen last year.

The other pitching coaches are new. Josh Conway (Frederick) was the development coach at Bowie, Joe Haumacher (Aberdeen) was a college coach and Adam Bleday (Gulf Coast) was Frederick’s development coach.

At each level, the Orioles have development and fundamentals coaches, many of them new to professional coaching.

The Orioles made official their hiring of Eve Rosenbaum, a 29-year-old Harvard graduate who comes from the Astros. Rosenbaum will be the team’s first director of baseball development.

As the Orioles describe it: “In this role, she will oversee the alignment of methods across baseball operations, while also enhancing coordination between the scouting, player development, and analytics departments. Rosenbaum is a native of Bethesda, Md., and a Walt Whitman High School graduate, who played four years of softball at Harvard University (Mass.). She joins the Orioles from the Houston Astros organization, where she spent the previous five seasons. During her time with the Astros, she was a Coordinator, International Baseball Operations, a Specialist, International Baseball Operations, and most recently a Manager, International Scouting. Prior to her time with the Astros, Rosenbaum worked for the NFL for two and a half years.”

Overall, Elias’ hires are bold, and it will be fascinating to monitor their progress.

Mancini hosts tailgate: Trey Mancini will host a tailgate to benefit Orioles and Ravens fan Mo Gaba on Sunday. Gaba, a 13-year-old, is grappling with cancer for the fourth time.

The tailgate will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. before the Ravens’ game with the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium. Proceeds will help fund Gaba’s medical treatment.

Fans interested in attending the event, which will be held in the Purple Tailgate Zone, 162 West Ostend Street, can buy tickets online at BMOREAroundTown.com/Events. Tickets start at $50, $25 for children 16-and-under, and include unlimited food and beverages for select items. There will be tailgate games, a commemorative koozie and live music by local country band LoCASH.

There also will be a silent auction and raffles.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. VICTORTEE

    November 26, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Elias is going to prove he is smarter than any exec in the history of baseball. Who needs to do anything that every team in MLB history has done before. Maybe he can teach the O’s how to cheat like the Astro’s did.

    • Greazy Tony

      November 26, 2019 at 8:17 am

      Its just a shame that if Elias and his old boss down in Houston get their way MLB will get rid of more than 40 minor league teams. I’m all for analytics on the field but their push to save money by getting rid of teams will kill the game in a lot of parts of this country.

    • CalsPals

      November 26, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      Funny, I said that a few articles ago & had zero responses, maybe we should emulate another franchise than the Astros…KC won a WS w/homegrown, trades & timely FA signings…go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      November 26, 2019 at 1:31 pm

      We are emulating the Royals. Like the Orioles, the Royals have lost over 100 games the last 2 years.

    • CalsPals

      November 26, 2019 at 2:36 pm

      & apparently not cheating to do it…go O’s…

  2. In The Triangle

    November 26, 2019 at 8:19 am

    I’m looking at a job posting from the A’s right now:

    “Qualifications/Requirements:

    Undergraduate degree in math, computer science, economics, statistics or related quantitative field
    Strong proficiency in SQL and R is required, Python experience preferred.
    Experience in Microsoft Excel is a plus.
    Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
    Self-starter with an ability to handle multiple tasks and responsibilities.
    Excellent communication skills including written and verbal; ability to present ideas clearly and concisely.
    Ability to work extended hours/weekends and travel as needed.
    Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment.”

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 26, 2019 at 8:24 am

      You can use me as a reference, triangle.

  3. deqalt

    November 26, 2019 at 8:33 am

    It’s amazing the change in how the Orioles do business. Wasn’t too long ago Dan Duquette could not blow his nose with Peter approving.

    Rich, what is the status of Peter Angelos’ health? Is he completely out of the loop at this point?

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 26, 2019 at 8:36 am

      As was made clear at Elias’ hiring a year ago, the club is being run by John and Louis Angelos.

  4. Baltimore Castaway

    November 26, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Am very impressed that they have instituted a common standard for drafting, developing and coaching all their players–at every level, including the major League team. Elias has cleared every obstacle in his way. You have to give him credit for cleaning house and bringing in (mostly) younger people to teach players how to succeed in the game.

    It will be interesting to see if the Orioles Minor League teams perform appreciably better in 2020 with the new Coaching Structure.

    Credit also goes to John and Lou Angelos for giving Elias the autonomy to make these sweeping changes—something their father NEVER would have allowed.

  5. willmiranda

    November 26, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Unfortunately, younger and more diverse is not synonymous with better. The New O’s seem more attentive to building a bureaucratic kingdom than a sporting team. The suits get more attention than the players. And, yes, I count coaches and managers among the suits, a la Connie Mack. They’re reluctant to re-sign their best infielder, but have bucks for the water cooler crowd. Rosenbaum’s tenure with the Astros seems to coincide with the cheating years. With Harvard (Mass) and the NFL, did she have much contact with the Patriots (Mass)?

    • Baltimore Castaway

      November 26, 2019 at 10:59 am

      You are quietly spouting opinions that none of us know are actually the case or not.

      How’s this for an idea; give him a year or two to show some nominal improvement in their approach and results.

      No one is totally happy w everything he’s done since his arrival, but I will take the boldness of his actions and the direction he is taking this franchise.

      Way better than the doldrums and mediocrity of most of the last 20+ years.

  6. Orial

    November 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I beg to differ on previous posts. Younger and diverse IS the way to go(and I’m an old fart). No more of big bellied,cigar toting execs. Lets look at a NEW way. Ravens have a 25 year old Yale grad designing formulations(whatever that is). I’m on board with Elias. Hey we’ve got nothing to lose and only one way to go. Lets emulate our purple neighbors and get with the times.

  7. Bancells Moustache

    November 26, 2019 at 11:25 am

    I’m with Miranda, I don’t give a damn who they hire to count the beans, nor do I believe Harvard or Yale better prepares you to run a baseball franchise than the Community College of Baltimore County. Give me a World Championship team in the next 5 years or take those fancy degrees off the wall, put them in a cardboard box and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  8. WorldlyView

    November 26, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Youth does not necessarily equate to success in running a major league baseball team. As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding…
    For at least the next season, the O’s should hire a savvy watcher of the waiver wire–most likely the major source of new players for a year or two. Why pay Villar $10 million when the team can get a .210 hitting castoff for peanuts? I wouldn’t bet that we will pay megabucks for proven free agent pitching talent . The future is not next season, whether the fans like it or not.

    • Baltimore Castaway

      November 27, 2019 at 8:30 am

      You are a soothsayer..

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