With the beginning of Florida Grapefruit League play coming up this weekend, Baltimore Orioles fans are about to get their first look at Brandon Hyde in the dugout. However keep in mind that spring training in effect is a controlled environment. While the game outcomes certainly aren’t scripted, the pitchers certainly are – in terms of when they pitch and how many innings.
However with that said, I’ll be interested to see how exactly Hyde plans on managing his bullpen. We might get a sneak peak at that in the final week of spring training, when at times the rotations aren’t quite as scripted as they were in the beginning. But the biggest concern with a rookie manager is how he handles the bullpen.
Does he blow through relievers left and right like there’s no tomorrow? Does he leave a pitcher on the mound too long? Or…is he potentially really good at managing the bullpen?
Fact is that it’s not as easy as it looks. Not that I would know – because I don’t. But I would liken it to clock management in the NFL. We all sit there and complain when coaches birch clock management in the end of halves. We all think we could do better because it’s such an easy thing. But obviously it’s not that easy if so many people struggle with it.
There’s no doubt how important the bullpen is. Especially in the modern game. So how Hyde manages it is something worth watching from the beginning. He’ll make mistakes, and fans will have to accept that at first. But as things play out, hopefully those mistakes are fewer and further between.