The coaching staff under Orioles Manager Sam Perlozzo likely will start coming together Monday when Baltimore is expected to announce the return of hitting coach Terry Crowley. Crowley and Perlozzo spoke at length Saturday night and both agreed the hitting coach should come back. Only a final approval from management is needed to make the return official.
"I would think Crow is okay," Perlozzo said.
Perlozzo said there would be a few changes to the coaching staff, but declined to detail what they would be. Perhaps the most intriguing situation exists with pitching coach Ray Miller, who last week had surgery for an aortic aneurysm. The team is proceeding cautiously with Miller, whose contract expires in November.
Baltimore, according to one team source, has in interest in Atlanta Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone, a close friend of Perlozzo, but does not want to proceed until Miller's status is determined. The Orioles may face stiff competition for Mazzone. According to a source, the New York Yankees have asked for permission to speak to the pitching coach. The Braves, according to the source, have granted a small window for the Yankees and Mazzone to speak. If the Orioles have serious interest in Mazzone, they may have to force a decision from Miller. Perlozzo said he planned to visit Miller this week.
Crowley's return is not unexpected. The decline this past season of what had been one of baseball's most imposing offenses in 2004 could hardly be blamed on the coaching staff. Several injuries -- Brian Roberts, Melvin Mora, Sammy Sosa, Luis Matos and Javy Lopez missed significant time -- helped drop Baltimore to 16th in runs scored.
Orioles Note: Philadelphia assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr. interviewed with the Orioles on Saturday for an undetermined front-office job.