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Former NASA engineer Mejdal leaves Astros for Orioles

This photo provided by the Baltimore Orioles shows Sig Mejdal. New Baltimore Orioles general manager Mike Elias called upon a familiar face to help rebuild the club, hiring former NASA engineer Sig Mejdal from the Houston Astros to be assistant general manager for analytics, the Orioles said Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. (Dan Kubus/Baltimore Orioles via AP)

BALTIMORE (AP) — New Baltimore Orioles general manager Mike Elias called upon a familiar face to help rebuild the club, hiring former NASA engineer Sig Mejdal from the Houston Astros to be assistant general manager for analytics.

Mejdal will report to Elias and will oversee all aspects of the club’s growing analytics effort and serve as an adviser to Elias, the Orioles said Wednesday. Mejdal had been a special assistant for process improvement to Houston GM Jeff Luhnow since October 2015.

Elias was introduced Monday as Baltimore’s general manager. The 35-year-old has been charged with turning around a team that finished 47-115, the worst record in the majors.

Mejdal has been working in the majors for 14 seasons. He joined the Astros for the 2012 season — as did Elias — and organized the team’s analytics department from its inception.

Before coming to the Astros, Mejdal and Elias both worked in the St. Louis Cardinals front office.

Elias called Mejdal “one of the most experienced and accomplished analysts working in baseball today.”

Mejdal has a pair of engineering degrees from UC Davis and advanced degrees in operations research and cognitive psychology/human factors from San Jose State. In addition to NASA, he worked for Lockheed Martin.

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