After a 110-loss season, the Orioles have started to make changes to their coaching staff. Don Long, who was their hitting coach for the past three seasons, has been fired. José Hernández, their assistant hitting coach for the past two seasons, is being reassigned.
Gary Kendall, manager of Triple-A Norfolk since 2019, also has been fired along with Norfolk pitching coach Kennie Steenstra. The Orioles also fired former relief pitcher Alan Mills, who was the manager of one of the Orioles’ Florida Complex League teams. Mills was the Orioles’ bullpen coach in 2017 and 2018.
The news was first reported by MASNSports.com and confirmed by an industry source.
Long and Hernández were part of manager Brandon Hyde’s original staff. In 2019, Hernández held the title of major league coach, which now belongs to Fredi González.
The Orioles hit .239 in 2021, 10th in the American League, and finished in the lower third in most major hitting categories.
Long, who was previously the hitting coach for Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, was singled out for praise by Trey Mancini earlier this season.
The other coaches, including González and Tim Cossins, the major league field coordinator and catching coach and the only other remaining holdover from Hyde’s original staff, are expected to return, though some roles could change.
González joined the staff in 2020. Pitching coach Chris Holt, who also doubles as the team’s director of pitching, finished his first season with the major league team this season. Assistant pitching coach Darren Holmes and first base coach Anthony Sanders completed their second season, and third base coach Tony Mansolino, who doubles as infield coordinator, just finished his first season with the club.
Kendall, a native Baltimorean,] who had managed in the minor league system since 2004, had managed Double-A Bowie for eight seasons, including their Eastern League championship team in 2015 before his promotion to Norfolk in 2019.
It’s possible that Buck Britton, who was the winner of the team’s Cal Ripken Sr. Award for organizational development and the manager of Bowie since 2019, will succeed Kendall at Norfolk.
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