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O's staff returning nearly intact

O's staff returning nearly intact

BALTIMORE -- Dave Trembley's got plenty of time and he intends to use it. Baltimore's manager told the Baltimore Sun that he'd be bringing his coaching staff back minus bench coach Dave Jauss on Tuesday, and he said Wednesday that he doesn't have a timetable or any prerequisites in terms of filling out his staff.

"We're going to compile a list of candidates and we'll just choose the best available person," said Trembley of the search for a bench coach. "I'm really not going to say if he needs Major League experience or if he needs to have been a manager at some point. It just has to be someone that everyone's comfortable with."

Trembley, who learned that he'd be brought back during the last week of the season, has had a fairly consistent coaching staff during his tenure. Jauss spent two years as bench coach, and most of the remaining coaches -- Terry Crowley, Rick Kranitz, John Shelby and Juan Samuel -- have been on staff that long.

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Bullpen coach Alan Dunn is the lone exception. Dunn, who knows Trembley and Kranitz from their shared tenure in the Cubs organization, joined the Orioles in August of 2007 and has been in the same capacity since then.

Trembley credited several of his coaches for their hard work and dedication to their players. Hitting coach Terry Crowley, who has been with the team for 11 straight seasons, earned kudos late in the year for his work with youngsters Felix Pie and Matt Wieters. And in the end, Trembley wanted to keep the same core intact.

"I think it was important," he said. "I just felt comfortable with everyone and I think everyone has done a nice job. I also think that everyone is on the same page as far as next year being important for each and every one of us."

The 2010 season will be Crowley's 12th straight in Baltimore, a total exceeded only by coaches Elrod Hendricks, Harry Breechen and Billy Hunter. Crowley also had a separate four-season stint with the Orioles.

Andy MacPhail, Baltimore's president of baseball operations, has made it clear that Trembley and the Orioles would be judged by their won-loss record in 2010, a reflection of the team's progress through a rebuilding period. And if the Orioles are going to prosper, they'll need big steps forward from their myriad of young arms.

That's another reason Trembley thought it was important to bring back Kranitz and Dunn, who have presided over the staff together for the last year and a half. Kranitz replaced former pitching coach Leo Mazzone before the 2008 season, and he helped several prospects make the big league leap last season.

"Rick Kranitz has a very good rapport with young pitchers," said Trembley. "He did it with Florida, and I can see him having the same relationship with our guys. From that standpoint, it's nice to have continuity."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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