Orioles general manager Mike Elias delved into a wide range of topics Nov. 2 regarding the future of the franchise on the field and in the city of Baltimore.
Elias assured fans in a recent email the organization is committed to staying at Camden Yards after a report that potential ownership groups are preparing to make an offer if the team is placed on the open market by the Angelos family.
Elias reiterated that stance to reporters in a Zoom news conference Nov. 2, saying the issue is especially important to him because he grew up following the team.
“While we know this year has brought about a great deal of uncertainty, please rest assured that there is nothing uncertain about the future of your Orioles in Baltimore,” Elias said in the email.
The Orioles’ attendance has sagged in recent years as the team has been mired at the bottom of the American League East standings. However, Elias is confident the organization is trending upward because of the influx of young talent at the minor-league level. The Orioles have also added a solid group of players via the MLB Draft, including 2019 No. 1 pick Adley Rutschman, and have added several Latin American players via the international scouting process.
“We have worked diligently to accelerate the player development system; invest in the club’s international scouting presence in the Caribbean, Asia, and worldwide, and expand the team’s analytics department,” Elias said. “After 22 months, I am proud to report to you that MLB Pipeline ranks our farm system eighth-best in baseball in developing talent, and we are now full of top-tier prospects that we believe will soon make their way to Camden Yards.”
Chris Holt Named Pitching Coach
Chris Holt will have an expanded role with the Orioles, serving as the club’s primary pitching coach and maintain his title as director of pitching, Elias confirmed.
Holt replaces Doug Brocail, who held the job for the past two seasons with uneven results. Darren Holmes has a new title as the assistant pitching coach after serving as the bullpen coach, but he will maintain his duties in the bullpen.
Mancini, Martin Reinstated
Outfielder Trey Mancini was reinstated from the 60-day injured list after completing chemotherapy treatments related to Stage 3 colon cancer. The team rallied around Mancini as he underwent chemotherapy, which he completed in September.
“I think it’s going as well as it possible could have gone since we got that horrible news in March,” Elias said. “I think any of us would have traded anything to get to Nov. 2 and be where we’re at with him right now. He’s doing well, he’s getting his strength back, he’s slowly getting into baseball-ish type activities and it’s been incredible.”
Mancini has established himself as the face of the franchise and was the Orioles’ MVP in 2019 after leading the team in doubles (38), home runs (35), RBI (97), extra-base hits (75), total bases (322), OBP (.364), slugging (.535) and OPS (.899). Mancini also ranked second among AL outfielders in extra-base hits and total bases, third in runs scored, tied for third in hits, fourth in doubles, fifth in multi-hit games, sixth in RBI, seventh in home runs and eighth in OPS.
In addition, infielder Richie Martin was reinstated from the 60-day injured list after undergoing surgery on his fractured bone in his right wrist in July workouts. Martin was looking to make the team as a utility player, and he’ll have an opportunity to make the team as a second baseman and/or shortstop in 2021.
Yolmer Sanchez, who was recently claimed off waivers from the White Sox, will also battle for that utility role. In seven seasons, Sanchez has hit .245/.300/.360 and won a Gold Glove in 2019. He can play second base, third base and shortstop.
Shaping The Roster
Elias likes the young arms within the organization and is confident many of those pitchers can make an impact. However, the club could explore adding veterans to minor-league deals for depth. The team is also exploring ways to improve the infield. Elias plans to keep six to eight outfielders on the 40-man roster, which currently consists of 35 players.
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