Chris Holt was named the Orioles’ pitching coach on Monday. Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias made the announcement during a video conference call.
Holt, whose title will be pitching coach/director of pitching, replaces Doug Brocail, who was the Orioles’ pitching coach for 2019 and 2020.
Elias said that Darren Holmes, who became bullpen coach in 2020, will return and “will also be assisting Holt in all facets. So, we will be rearranging internal roles there on the pitching side.”
Holmes’ new title is assistant pitching coach.
In 2020, Holt, 41, oversaw organizational pitching. Elias said that would continue.
Holt came with Elias from the Houston Astros in 2018 and served as the team’s minor league pitching coordinator in 2019. He had been the Astros’ assistant pitching coordinator in 2018 after serving as a minor league pitching coach from 2014-2017.
The Orioles haven’t named a replacement for José Flores, who was let go after serving as the team’s third base coach in 2019 and 2020.
“With regard to the third base coaching position and the primary infield coach position, we’re looking at a whole number of options there,” Elias said. “Within and without the organization. We’ll see where that goes … A number of things could happen.
“If I were handicapping, I think we’ll have the same number of coaches as last year, but we leave our options open for things if our search doesn’t pan out the way we envision or we have some conversations internally where we decide to structure things a different way. I don’t want to rule that out.”
Besides Holmes, last year’s coaches were Tim Cossins (major league field coordinator and catching instructor), Fredi González (major league coach), José Hernandez (assistant hitting coach) Don Long (hitting) and Anthony Sanders (first base).
Mancini update: Elias said that Trey Mancini, who was added to the 40-man roster on Sunday after spending the 2020 season on the 60-day injured list after having colon cancer surgery, is doing well.
“We’ve all got our fingers crossed,” Elias said. “I think it’s gone as well as it possibly could have gone since we got that horrible news back in March. I think any of us would have traded anything to get to November 2nd and be where we’re at with him right now.
“He’s doing well. He’s getting his strength back. He’s slowly getting into baseballish-type activities. It’s been incredible. We have great doctors, and access to just incredible medical resources here with the Orioles, and I think it’s helping him get the best outcome he possibly could, but he’s still got some work to do.”
Minor league free agents: According to Baseball America, the Orioles have 16 minor league free agents. The most prominent names are right-hander David Hess, outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. and infielder Andrew Velazquez, all of whom played with the Orioles in 2020.
Left-handed pitcher Brian Gonzalez, who was the team’s highest draft pick in 2014, is also a free agent, as is Luis Ortiz, the right-hander who came to the Orioles from Milwaukee in July 2018 in the trade that sent Jonathan Schoop to the Brewers.,
Others on the list are right-handed pitchers Cristian Alvarado and Danny Barnes, infielder Malquin Canelo, catcher Martin Cervenka, right-handers Tyler Herb and Francisco Jimenez, utilityman Ty Moore, right-hander Brady Rodgers, infielders José Rondon, Richard Urena and Jesmuel Valentin.