Orioles announce minor league coaching staffs; Ryan Flaherty reportedly hired by Padres; Chris Davis honored

The Orioles announced their 2020 minor league coaching staffs Monday, including a new staff in full at High-A Frederick and a new manager at Low-A Delmarva.

Every Orioles’ affiliate has five coaches — a manager, pitching coach, hitting coach, fundamentals coach and development coach. In all, the Orioles added 19 coaches to the organization across their eight affiliates.


With Triple-A Norfolk, Gary Kendall returns for his second season as the Tides’ manager after serving in that role for various Orioles affiliates since 2004. Kennie Steenstra joins Kendall’s staff as pitching coach, having been Double-A Bowie’s pitching coach in 2019. Sean Berry rejoins the Orioles’ organization as Norfolk’s hitting coach, a role he held from 2015 to 2017. Norfolk field coach Ramon Sambo is now in the role of fundamentals coach, while Eli Steinfield, who was previously with the Houston Astros as a player development technology apprentice, is the Tides’ development coach.

Buck Britton, who was the Eastern League’s Manager of the Year and led Bowie to the league’s second-half title and championship series, returns to lead the Baysox again, this time with Orioles Minor League Coach of the Year Justin Ramsey as his pitching coach. Ramsey was Delmarva’s pitching coach in 2019, grooming a staff that led the South Atlantic League in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts, with the Shorebirds’ 1,389 punchouts setting a league record. Tim Gibbons, the former director of hitting at Be Elite Sports Training, will be Bowie’s hitting coach, with Butch Davis, Norfolk’s hitting coach the past two years, as fundamentals coach. Grant Anders, who spent 2019 with the Cincinnati Reds as a baseball operations trainee, will serve as development coach.


After guiding Delmarva to a record 90-win season, Kyle Moore takes over as Frederick’s manager. Josh Conway, Bowie’s development coach in 2019, will be the Keys’ pitching coach. Tom Eller, Aberdeen’s hitting coach in 2019, will serve in the same role in Frederick in 2020. The Keys’ fundamentals and development coaches, respectively, will be Collin Woody, who spent the prior four seasons in Baltimore’s minor league system as a player, and David Barry, who was Delmarva’s video technician in 2019 and previously was a baseball operations intern for the Astros.

Orioles minor league infield coordinator Dave Anderson will spend his sixth year in the organization as Delmarva’s manager. Robbie Aviles will be the Shorebirds’ pitching coach, moving up a level from short-season Aberdeen. Delmarva’s remaining three coaches, hitting coach Ryan Fuller, fundamentals coach Jeff Kunkel and development coach Matt Packer, are all in their first year in Baltimore’s organization. Fuller was a hitting instructor at Power in Training in Connecticut. Kunkel was an area scout for the Detroit Tigers the past four years. Packer was the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Connecticut’s Post University.

At Aberdeen, Kevin Bradshaw will be in his fifth season as manager of the IronBirds. Joe Haumacher will serve as pitching coach after holding that title for Dixie State University in Utah last year. Anthony Villa, a former Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers minor leaguer who was the Pioneer League MVP in 2017, will be Aberdeen’s hitting coach. After a five-year playing career in Baltimore’s system, Brandon Becker will be the IronBirds’ fundamentals coach in 2020. Joe Botelho will be Aberdeen’s development coach; he’s in his fifth year with the Orioles and was a player development assistant in 2019.

Having earned Gulf Coast Manager of the Year honors in 2019, Alan Mills will seek a repeat in 2020. Adam Bleday, Frederick’s development coach last year, will be pitching coach. Patrick Jones, a high school coach and private hitting instructor in the Cincinnati area, will serve as hitting coach. The GCL Orioles’ fundamentals coach will be Christian Frias, who was a hitting and infield coach at Wabash Valley College in Illinois, and their development coach will be Tim DeJohn, who was an assistant coach with the Independent American Association’s Milwaukee Milkmen.

The Orioles will have two Dominican Summer League teams, with Elvis Morel returning to manage one and Chris Madera, a former player/coach in Baltimore’s system, managing the other. Between the teams, there will be three pitching coaches: Dionis Pascual, Robert Pérez and Andrew Sadoski, who is the lone newcomer after serving as a player development assistant for the Orioles in 2019. Likewise, the teams will have three hitting coaches with one newcomer; Ramón Caraballo and Ramón Lubo return, while Josh Bunselmeyer joins the organization from Jefferson College in Missouri. There will be one fundamentals coach, Miguel Jabalera, and one development coach, Rubén Francisca, between the teams.

The athletic trainers for each affiliate are Chris Poole at Norfolk, Brian Guzman at Bowie, Marty Brinker at Frederick, Adam Sparks at Delmarva, Gary Smith at Aberdeen, Aliks Loria in the GCL, and Brandon Rodriguez and Julio Ibarra in the DSL.

The organization also confirmed the hiring of Eve Rosenbaum as director of baseball development. A Bethesda native, she will oversee and enhance coordination of Baltimore’s scouting, player development and analytics departments. Other front office changes announced Monday are Maria Arellano as senior manager of minor league and international administration, Mike Griffin as pitching rehabilitation coach after 11 years as Norfolk’s pitching coach, Rancel Rosado as Dominican Academy administrator, Kathryn Rowe as sports psychologist, and Dave Schmidt as rehab coordinator.

Those returning to their previous roles, per Monday’s announcement, are Manny Lopez as Latin American medical coordinator, Jake Parker as minor league equipment manager, Felipe Rojas Jr. as director of the Dominican Academy, and Dave Walker as minor league medical coordinator.

Flaherty reportedly joins Padres in coaching role

The San Diego Padres are continuing to surround Manny Machado with connections to his Orioles days.

Longtime Orioles utility man Ryan Flaherty is ending his playing career to join the Padres as a quality control coach, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported. Flaherty, 33, spent 2012 to 2017 in Baltimore before spending a season each in the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians’ organizations.

In San Diego, Flaherty joins former Orioles coaches Bobby Dickerson and Wayne Kirby, who will serve as first-year manager Jayce Tingler’s bench coach and first-base coach, respectively. Machado, who played for Baltimore from 2012 to 2018 before a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, signed a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres before the 2019 season.

With the Orioles, Flaherty played every position but catcher and center field, primarily seeing time as a second baseman and third baseman. Although he seemingly ends his career as a .215/.284/.345 hitter, Flaherty had an .830 OPS in two sets of playoff appearances for Baltimore in 2012 and 2014.


Orioles introduce Kids Cheer Free Plus

Having already announced earlier start times for weekday games next season in an effort to encourage families to come to Camden Yards, the Orioles are pairing the former Junior Orioles Dugout Club with their popular Kids Cheer Free promotion to create Kids Cheer Free Plus. For $25, children ages 14 and younger receive a limited-edition cap; a lanyard; a membership card; and a ticket voucher redeemable for four lower-level tickets to any value, classic or select home game. The package has a value of up to $192, per the Orioles.


Additionally, the maximum age of the Kids Cheer Free promotion, which allows an adult who buys an upper-deck ticket to bring in two children for free, raises from 9 years old to 14 years old if the child has a Kids Cheer Free Plus membership. More information is available at orioles.com/KidsCheerPlus.


The Orioles are also offering two holiday ticket packs. Fans can get the Battle of the Beltways 3-Pack starting at $45, giving them tickets to home games April 25 against the Toronto Blue Jays, June 19 against the Tampa Bay Rays, and either Aug. 8 or Aug. 9 against the Washington Nationals. For $99, fans can buy the Opening Day 5-Pack, which features the Orioles’ Opening Day Game against the New York Yankees on March 26, as well as tickets for games April 20 against the Kansas City Royals, May 25 against the Chicago White Sox, June 28 against the Detroit Tigers and Aug. 19 against the Texas Rangers. All holiday ticket packs come with an Orioles holiday beanie, with delivery of the beanie guaranteed by Christmas for packs bought before Dec. 15. Tickets can be bought at orioles.com/holiday.

Other holiday promotions include Spring Training Mini-Packs starting at $107, the $15 Orioles pet calendar (with all proceeds going to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter) and a 50% discount at the Orioles team store at Camden Yards from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Black Friday.

The Orioles ranked 28th of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs in attendance in 2019.

Davis honored at Musial Awards

Over the weekend, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis’ bond with a young Boston Red Sox fan earned both of them recognition at the St. Louis-based Musial Awards, which are named for Cardinals legend Stan Musial and recognize exemplary sportsmanship.

Davis and 10-year-old Henry Frasca presented Musial Awards to each other during the ceremony. While Davis struggled through a record hitless streak early in the season, Frasca, despite his Red Sox fandom, wrote Davis a touching letter of support. Davis got three hits the day he received the note and thanked Frasca by having him spend a day around the Orioles in August.

Davis, 33, was named the Orioles’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for a third straight season in 2019. Earlier this month, he and his wife, Jill, announced a record $3 million donation to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.

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