BALTIMORE -- Tucked into his new office at Oriole Park this week, Brandon Hyde laid the groundwork for his first immediate task: filling out a coaching staff, that, as the holidays approach, remains completely vacant. For the new manager, that meant phone calls. Lots of them, all made with an
BALTIMORE -- Tucked into his new office at Oriole Park this week, Brandon Hyde laid the groundwork for his first immediate task: filling out a coaching staff, that, as the holidays approach, remains completely vacant. For the new manager, that meant phone calls. Lots of them, all made with an eye toward what Hyde called "really doing our homework on what's available."
Hyde touched base via telephone with both new candidates and those who worked on Buck Showalter's staff last season. None in that latter category were retained when Showalter was dismissed at season's end, and for the many who remain unemployed, Hyde had a message.
"I've been through changes before and I have a lot of sentiment for the guys who were on staff and are on hold," Hyde said, speaking on 105.7 FAN Orioles Hot Stove on Thursday night. "I was honest with them, saying, 'I don't know what's going on, but I want you to know I'm thinking about you. We're not dismissing anybody at this time.' I just wanted them to know I'm here for a phone call."
Given the fact that Hyde and general manager Mike Elias are new to the organization, the Orioles are considering retaining at least some coaches from last year's staff, citing their familiarity with the current roster as an asset. Two of them surely won't be back, however.
Scott Coolbaugh, who served as the O's hitting coach for the last four seasons, was hired by the Dodgers to coach at their Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City. The Braves snagged Einar Diaz, who worked on Baltimore's big league staff since 2013, to coach their Triple-A Gwinnett team.
Howie Clark (assistant hitting coach in 2018) and Alan Mills (bullpen coach) both signed Minor League deals to remain with the Orioles organization in roles to be determined. That leaves four members of Showalter's 2018 staff still in limbo: pitching coach Roger McDowell, bench coach John Russell, first-base coach Wayne Kirby and third-base coach Bobby Dickerson.
Though new regimes often prefer to surround themselves with their own people, the calendar could make doing so a challenge for Hyde. Many vacancies were filled early in the offseason, and all five of the managers hired before Hyde this winter -- Brad Ausmus in Anaheim, Charlie Montoyo in Toronto, Chris Woodward in Texas, Rocco Baldelli in Minnesota and David Bell in Cincinnati -- have already finalized their staffs.
"Right now, we're wide open," Hyde said. "It's really hard putting a coaching staff together at Christmas time. The one thing is, you're not competing with anyone else. We're late in the game this year, the way things happened. But we're going to do the best we can to put the best coaching staff available."
Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.