Although the Orioles fired 25 members of their scouting, development and front office staffs in the past month, first-year executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias has reiterated multiple hires would be made to replace those lost and redesign the organization’s operations structure.

The first hire came Monday, with the Orioles announcing Matt Blood as their director of player development amid a bevy of changes within their baseball operations department. Blood joined the Texas Rangers in November as their director of player development before becoming their director of baseball innovation last month. He spent the previous three years as the director of USA Baseball’s 18 and Under National Team Program and seven years before that as an area scout for the St. Louis Cardinals.


Elias joined the Cardinals as a scout in 2007 and was their manager of amateur scouting in 2010. Orioles assistant general manager of analytics Sig Mejdal worked in St. Louis’ analytics department from 2005 to 2011 in various roles.

“Matt has an unrivaled network when it comes to identifying up-and-coming coaching talent, and his knowledge of the latest trends in the player development sphere will help to keep us on the forefront of this critical area,” Elias said in a statement.

Blood’s duties as director of player development will include staff recruitment, technology programs and strategies of player development throughout the minors. Kent Qualls remains as the Orioles’ director of minor league operations, with a focus on roster management, contract negotiations and facility operations.

Kevin Buck, the Orioles’ director of team travel, is now the club’s director of baseball administration, overseeing the major league team’s operations, transactions, budgets and rules compliance.

Brad Ciolek, who served as Baltimore’s interim director of amateur scouting throughout the 2019 draft process, has been promoted to a supervisor role overseeing domestic scouting operations, where he will manage the domestic scouting staff’s day-to-day operations as part of preparing for the amateur draft. Mike Snyder was named director of pro scouting after serving as the Orioles’ director of Pacific Rim operations and player development.

Di Zou, the lone analytics employee Mejdal inherited when he joined the Orioles this offseason, was promoted to manager of baseball systems, a role in which he will continue to develop the organization’s analytical capabilities.

Hendrik Herz and Chad Tatum will evaluate amateur players in advance of the draft using data, video and in-person evaluations in their newly created role of scouting analysts.

“We are pleased to announce these moves as we continue to organize and construct our new front office,” Elias said in the statement. “In giving new opportunities to our staff members, we recognize their ability to help us continue to build the base of young talent in this organization.

“I anticipate many more hires and additions to our baseball operations department as we proceed into the offseason.”

Around the horn

>> Designated hitter Mark Trumbo was scratched from the Orioles’ lineup with a left trapezius strain.

>> The Orioles designated left-hander Ty Blach for assignment and claimed right-handed reliever Eric Hanhold from the New York Mets. Blach’s 11.32 ERA was the worst for any pitcher in Orioles history who made at least five starts for the club. Hanhold, 25, pitched in three games for the Mets in 2018 and spent all of this season in the minors, posting a 3.84 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A. The former sixth-round pick was college teammates with Orioles shortstop Richie Martin at the University of Florida.

>> Monday marked Triple-A Norfolk manager Gary Kendall’s final game as a guest coach on the Orioles’ major league staff. Double-A Bowie manager Buck Britton, who led the Baysox to the Eastern League Championship Series, will join the Orioles on Tuesday, also as a guest coach.

>> Orioles manager Brandon Hyde considered giving outfielder Anthony Santander a day off Monday after he ended an 0-for-27 skid with an eighth-inning single Saturday. "And he said, ‘No, no, no, papi, I want to be in there.’ So he’s in there,” Hyde said.