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Orioles notes on Frank Kolarek, Dominican academy, Chris Dickerson

When Dan Duquette was introduced as the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations last offseason, he made it clear that he wanted to focus on scouting and signing local talent.

The Orioles’ latest scouting addition will help those efforts. Duquette has hired Frank Kolarek to scout the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Maryland. He will join longtime local scout Dean Albany in the region.

“He likes the Orioles and likes baseball,” Duquette said of Kolarek. “He’s a good judge of talent. One of our initiatives was to thoroughly scout locally and sign local players and Frank is a local guy with good judgment.”

Kolarek, a former minor league catcher in the Oakland organization, has deep local roots. He is a Mount St. Joseph and Maryland graduate. He worked as a scout under longtime local scout and coach Walter Youse in the Orioles and Brewers organizations. He worked under Duquette in Milwaukee when he was the Brewers’ scouting director.

He spent this past season working as a consultant for the Orioles in their player development department.

He will scout Maryland, Virginia and southern Pennsylvania.

--  Duquette and Kent Qualls, the team’s new director of minor league operations, visited the Orioles’ academy in the Dominican Republic to oversee the operations there. Major leaguers Wilson Betemit and Alexi Casilla were also training at the complex.

-- Among their bevy of minor league signings, the Orioles are excited about the addition of Chris Dickerson, signed to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Duquette likes his .352 career on-base percentage at the major league level. He can also play all three outfield positions and has a career 1.000 fielding percentage at the major league level. It will be interesting to see the spring battle between the 30-year-old Dickerson and Trayvon Robinson for the backup outfielder position. Robinson, 25, is out of minor league options.

-- The Orioles were among the teams to watch pitchers Kip Wells, Mark Lowe and Ryan Rowland-Smith during a Wednesday workout in Peoria, Ariz., according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. The Orioles are always looking at pitching depth, so this isn't surprising. Wells, 35, was 2-4 with a 4.58 ERA in seven starts last season in his first major league action since 2009. Lowe pitched to a 3.43 ERA in 39 1/3 relief innings last season with the Rangers but missed six weeks with an intercostal strain. Rowland-Smith hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010 and was 3-6 with a 3.94 ERA over 77 2/3 innings in Triple-A in 2012.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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