Samuel, Mejias join O's coaches

Baseball

October 31, 2006|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun Reporter

Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo has completed his 2007 coaching staff with newcomers Juan Samuel and Sammy Mejias joining last year's holdovers, Leo Mazzone, Rick Dempsey, Terry Crowley and Tom Trebelhorn.

Samuel, who managed the New York Mets' Double-A affiliate last year after six seasons as a coach in Detroit, will coach third base. Mejias, a manager for the Philadelphia Phillies' Dominican League team who was on Lou Piniella's staff with Perlozzo in Seattle, will coach first. Dempsey will be moved from first base coach to the Orioles' bullpen and Trebelhorn will take over Lee Elia's bench coach duties.

Both former major leaguers, Samuel and Mejias give the staff a Latin American presence, which Perlozzo felt was important on a team with so many Spanish-speaking players.

Dave Trembley, who managed the organization's Triple-A team last year, will also be named to the Orioles' staff as major league field coordinator. Both batting practice pitcher Orlando Gomez and bullpen coach Larry McCall will be reassigned, with McCall likely becoming Triple-A Norfolk's pitching coach.

The Orioles also have promoted minor league strength and conditioning coordinator Jay Shiner to replace Tim Bishop, who resigned after 16 seasons with the club.

Notes -- Chris Gomez, Russ Ortiz and Chris Widger have already filed for free agency and Kevin Millar, LaTroy Hawkins, Fernando Tatis and Bruce Chen are expected to do the same in the coming days. None is a priority for the Orioles, though Millar's return is possible depending on what other moves the organization makes this offseason. ... The front office has not had any discussions with Kris Benson about his future with the club since the season ended. As a veteran traded in the middle of a multi-year contract, Benson can ask for a trade, though at this point, it is not likely that he'll exercise that right. ... The Orioles have touched base with the agent of Brian Roberts, but talks about a contract extension for the second baseman likely won't pick up until later this offseason.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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