Just weeks away from their first spring training under manager Brandon Hyde and days before FanFest, the Orioles announced their coaching staff Wednesday.
Longtime major leaguer Doug Brocail will be pitching coach, while former Cincinnati Reds hitting coach Don Long will take that role in Baltimore. Arnie Beyeler and José Flores will be the first and third base coaches, respectively. Tim Cossins will be the major league field coordinator and catching instructor, and John Wasdin will be the bullpen coach.
Only assistant hitting coach Howie Clark remains in his previous role from last year’s coaching staff, while former Triple-A field coach José Hernández will be a major league coach on the major league staff.
Wednesday’s announcement of the staff completes one of the last tasks for the rebuilding Orioles, who despite all their planning for the future in building a player development machine to bring the club back to prominence, still have to go about the task of improving in 2019 and beyond.
Brocail, a 15-year major leaguer who pitched until he was 42, comes to the Orioles after three seasons as the Texas Rangers pitching coach from 2016 to 2018. Before that, Brocail, 51, was the Houston Astros pitching coach in 2011 and 2012, the year new Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias and assistant vice president Sig Mejdal arrived in Houston from St. Louis.
Brocail became a special assistant in a front-office role before the 2014 season, with a stint as pitching coach at Double-A Corpus Christi.
Long, 56, was well-regarded in his time as hitting coach in Cincinnati, holding that job from 2014 until 2018. The rebuilding Reds had a patient offense during his time in Cincinnati, which was Long's second stint as a major league hitting coach after serving as one for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2008 to 2010. He was let go by new Reds manager David Bell, who brought well-regarded hitting coach Turner Ward from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Beyeler, 54, has a World Series ring from serving as the Boston Red Sox's first base coach in 2013, a role he held until 2015. He previously spent nine seasons as a manager in the Red Sox farm system. Combined with the three most recent seasons Beyeler spent as manager for Triple-A New Orleans in the Miami Marlins system, he's been a minor league coach or manager for 19 years.
As an outfield coach, Beyeler worked with American League Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts and Gold Glove Award winner Jackie Bradley Jr. as they came through the minors and into the big leagues.
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Flores, 48, a onetime Astros farmhand, also came from the Chicago Cubs system as Hyde — then the director of player development — hired him to be the infield coordinator in 2013 after extensive managing and coaching experience in Puerto Rico. Flores had similar responsibilities in 2018, his first year as the Philadelphia Phillies first base coach, but joins Hyde for an undetermined role on his major league staff after one year in Philadelphia.
Cossins, 48, joined the Cubs in 2012, same as Hyde, and Baltimore makes yet another concurrent stop on their resumes. Before he was the minor league field coordinator and catching instructor for the Cubs, Cossins worked with Hyde in the Marlins system, and both played at Santa Rosa Junior College before continuing their careers elsewhere.
In former top prospect Chance Sisco and fellow rookie Austin Wynns, Cossins will have plenty to work with at the major league level, with Sisco struggling badly in 2018 both at and behind the plate. That the consensus top pick in the 2019 draft, which the Orioles hold, is Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, potentially makes the position even more pivotal going forward.
Wasdin, 46, is one of a handful of holdovers from the organization to join the major league staff after serving two seasons as the Orioles’ minor league pitching coordinator.
He was replaced by Chris Holt, who came from Houston with Elias and Mejdal, and takes over the bullpen from Alan Mills. Like Mills, Wasdin will have a familiarity with many of the young pitchers who figure to populate the bullpen going forward.
Clark, 44, who was an Oriole in 2002 and again in 2006, joined the organization as the hitting coach for Low-A Delmarva in 2015, was at Double-A Bowie the next year and spent the past two seasons as assistant hitting coach on manager Buck Showalter’s staff.
Hernández, 49, a veteran of 15 major league seasons, joined the Orioles organization in 2010 as a minor league field coach, working his way up to Triple-A Norfolk in 2013 and coaching there until his promotion this winter.