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Orioles hire sports psychologist “to provide mental performance services”

St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 30: Starting pitcher Brian Matusz #17 of the Baltimore Orioles delivers to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 30, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Dan Duquette’s latest move as the Orioles’ new executive vice president of baseball operations is hiring a sports psychologist who, according to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com will “provide mental-performance services.”

Ghiroli reports that the sports psychologist, Seth Kaplan, will focus on working with pitchers and Duquette noted that he’ll attempt to improve “mental toughness.”

Kaplan, who’s previously worked with the military, has already met individually with most of the pitching staff and based on Brian Matusz’s collapse last season he’d presumably be a big part of the plans.

Zach Britton seemed enthused about the hiring, saying: “We never had anybody we could really go to or talk to before.” Considering even a highly paid sports psychologist would probably earn only a fraction of the MLB minimum salary it seems like a worthwhile investment.