With today marking exactly one year since the Orioles tabbed Mike Elias to succeed Dan Duquette as the franchise’s general manager, now seems like a natural time to check in on Elias’s tenure and evaluate the changes he has implemented thus far. Preaching a transformation of Baltimore’s scouting, player development, and analytics departments, it hasn’t taken long for Elias to get his fingerprints all over the internal structure of the Orioles. While the on-field product didn’t show much improvement from 2018 to 2019, sweeping changes have been made to the organization’s infrastructure in Elias’s first year running the show, which has by and large been spent “getting up to speed on all of the basics.” Joe Trezza of MLB.com has a comprehensive roundup of all the turnover, with analytics and international scouting representing two of the organization’s fastest-growing departments. This implementation of Elias’s philosophy marks a foundational step in the Orioles’ complete rebuild, which remains in its early stages. Ultimately, though, Elias’s success will be judged according to success on the diamond, meaning that he and his staff will need to demonstrate that they can acquire and develop the requisite talent to climb baseball’s ranks—no small task after consecutive 100-loss seasons.
- With last week’s GM meetings coming to a close, Elias spoke to MASN’s Roch Kubatko about just what happened during his stay in Arizona, as well as how he and his staff will navigate the offseason on the heels of a 54-108 season. Elias names middle infield, pitching, as well as depth at catcher and in the outfield as particular areas of focus in free agency and trades. Of course, one look at the O’s win-loss record suggests that those aren’t the only needs, and Elias’s Orioles are poised to take an active role in trade discussions as the team looks to bring aboard young talent all over the diamond. As Elias says, his team boasts a host of players that has steadily attracted interest since his arrival, though the team will be diligent in choosing when to move those players, if at all.
- In another change ahead of the 2020 season, the Orioles are opting for earlier start times to weekday night games before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, writes The Athletic’s Dan Connolly, moving first pitch up a half-hour earlier than past seasons. The scheduling alteration is motivated by the team’s desire to attract families and kids to games during the school year. As one can imagine, attendance has suffered as a result of the Orioles’ on-field struggles over the last two seasons, and the organization is looking for ways to remedy that. Connolly notes that the crosstown Nationals made a similar change in advance of the 2019 season.