The Orioles announced several changes to the front office staff Thursday, including the hiring of long-time Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson as a special assistant to executive vice president Dan Duquette.
Anderson, 48, was a three-time all-star in his 15-season career as a big-league outfielder, which included 14 years with the Orioles. Anderson worked the past two years in an informal, ad hoc capacity helping with the conditioning and development of players such as Nolan Reimold and Brian Matusz.
Now, he is listed among the club's top lieutenants, sharing a "special assistant" title with former Phillies general manager and long-time Duquette confidant Lee Thomas.
During a teleconference Thursday, Duquette said Anderson's duties will involve development and conditioning, while Thomas will handle personnel-type tasks.
"He can help us in the areas he's really passionate about," Duquette said of Anderson. "And those areas are player development and fitness. Those are two areas where we're going to leverage Brady's passion and leadership to help us develop."
Anderson, who attended a Baltimore charity event Thursday with Orioles manager Buck Showalter, said his day-to-day work with the organization won't change much.
"Since Dan was hired, we've been working pretty closely together and obviously he and Buck know what I'm doing and who I'm with," Anderson said. "Dan wants me to implement a strength-training program and see that that's carried out properly."
One of his first "official" duties is helping out with the Orioles mini-camp this week. He's trained with several Orioles players this offseason in California, and Matusz and fellow pitcher Tommy Hunter have apparently made tremendous physical strides with him.
"He's been great," Showalter said. "He's kind of like the Pied Piper. The players trust him. You very quickly identify people you work with who are get it done guys, and Brady is a guy who you give him something he can really help with in the organization and he will get it done. He's got a real passion for the Orioles, and I've gotten really excited about having him around."
Duquette said Anderson will help the club forge new standards in player conditioning.
"That's an area where we are going to work very diligently to establish protocol and standards so that the players understand what they need to do to be conditioned at a high level to compete in the American League," Duquette said.
During the conference call, Duquette also said Rick Peterson, recently named director of pitching development, will bring his "pitching lab" to spring training and will work with both minor leaguers and major leaguers on their deliveries and improving pitching efficiency. A former pitching coach for the Oakland A's, New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers, Peterson is known for his biomechanical and psychological approaches to pitching.
"That will be a resource that our pitchers can utilize from the entire organization if they choose to," Duquette said. "Rick is going to be overseeing our pitching development program in the minors, but I think he will also be a good resource for the major league staff as well."
Among the other staff changes, player development director John Stockstill will now have the title of director of player personnel. He will continue to oversee the minor league system but also will work directly with Duquette on major-league player procurement.
The club's former assistant development director, Tripp Norton, has been promoted to director of baseball administration and will be responsible for minor-league and major-league budgets and contract negotiations. Norton, who has been with the organization for 15 years and has been a key member of the club's arbitration team, will pick up some of the responsibilities held by Matt Klentak, who left this offseason to become an assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Angels.
"Tripp Norton got a significant promotion to director of baseball administration," Duquette said. "Tripp is a good veteran baseball man and we are glad to have him."
Other changes include: the promotion of Ned Rice from player information analyst to assistant director of major league operations; the promotion of Mike Snyder from international scout to assistant director of scouting and player development; and the hiring of former interns Sarah Gelles (baseball analytics coordinator) and Ben Werthan (advance scouting coordinator).
Note: Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg will not be able to attend Saturday's FanFest because his home in Oregon flooded. Second baseman Brian Roberts (post concussion symptoms) and pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (previously scheduled family vacation) will also not be in attendance.
When: Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Baltimore Convention Center
Tickets: $10 for adults; $5 for children 14 and under and adults 55 and over. May be purchased now at orioles.com/fanfest or Saturday at the Convention Center or the Camden Yards box office.
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