Results tagged ‘ Brandon Hyde ’

Baltimore Orioles: Only an exhibition, but in THE WIN COLUMN!

The Brandon Hyde era unofficially began this afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium with the Baltimore Orioles in THE WIN COLUMN! Yefry Ramírez took the ball as a starter, and provided some good results in his limited action on the mound. Ramirez’s line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K.

Perhaps in an effort to highlight the fact that any of these games are in fact open competitions for jobs, Hyde submitted what almost looked like a travel roster for this game. More of the “regulars” such as Davis and Mancini will be in the lineup tomorrow, but Hyde obviously wanted to see what his younger players were going to do today.

Ramriez looking crisp in the first inning was an immediate good sign, as was the fact that Cedric Mullins drew a walk in the leadoff spot after being behind 0-2 in the count. Once Mullins got on base, he stole second and then took third on an errant throw. As I’ve said many times, things can happen when you get guys on the base paths and put pressure on the pitcher.

Later in that first inning Chance Sisco would smack a three-run home run, giving the O’s an early 3-0 lead. Interestingly this Orioles team was supposed to be more about manufacturing runs than anything else. But Brandon Hyde and company will certainly take homers whenever they come. Ramirez would allow his sole run in the second on a Telis run-scoring ground out. One inning later in the last of the third, the Birds in fact would manufacture a run – on Renato Nunez‘s sac fly-RBI.

Yusniel Diaz, the DH this afternoon, would smack a two-run homer later in that third inning, extending the Birds’ lead to 6-1. Minnesota would score in the seventh when Kranson reached on an error in the seventh, and Rio Ruiz would add a sac fly-RBI in the last of that seventh inning. All in all, you’ll take a 7-2 victory however you can get it, especially in day one of spring games.

As I said, Brandon Hyde obviously wanted to get a look at some younger players today, which is presumably why the aforementioned Davis and Mancini were omitted from the lineup today. We’ll see them tomorrow. However the young guns in today’s game atoned for themselves very well. That makes ultimate decisions tougher on management. And that’s exactly how management wants it.

The Orioles will remain at home in Sarasota tomorrow as the Toronto Blue Jays come in for a visit. David Hess gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Sean Reid-Kelly. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: How does the player rotation turn?

The Baltimore Orioles and new manager Brandon Hyde will play their first two spring games at home in Sarasota this weekend. Kind of a sweet way to open the spring slew of games; the first two games being at home, and on a Saturday and Sunday. But then again in baseball there aren’t days per se. Saturday may as well be Tuesday, aside from getaways days and so forth. But forget about that – we’re only in spring training.

But it will be interesting to see how Hyde (a rookie manager) spins his player rotation in these spring games. Usually the regulars will play in the home games, but the road rosters are usually full of what end up being reserves or minor leaguers. Obviously there’s a rule which says you have to bring at least three regulars to each road game, but teams find ways around that.

However what exactly is the Orioles’ starting lineup? I suspect Davis is at first, Mullins in center, Stewart in left, and maybe Sisco or Wynns behind the plate. That aside, might the home games have lineups that look a lot like those of the road games?

The Orioles are a team who can legitimately say that they may not be able to being “regulars” on the road, as they don’t know who the regular players are going to be. The Birds don’t hit the road until Monday afternoon when they head to Fort Myers to play Minnesota. I suspect that we’ll simply see different young players in that game as opposed to what we’ll see this weekend in Sarasota.

However as has been said as hoc, this Grapefruit League “season” is going to have a different feel. In the past the home games have been about guys getting their reps in to get ready for the season. This year we will see some of that – again from the Davis’ of the world perhaps. But for the most part each game (home and road) will be about competition. It’ll be about guys fighting for a job. And on the flip side it’ll be about Brandon Hyde and Mike Elias picking the very best 25 guys to put on the active roster after March 25th (the final spring game).

And for only the first time this spring (because I end up writing this frequently), I’ll remind folks that wins and losses don’t matter. At least in any game between now and March 25th. Sure fans are going to follow the games and root for the Orioles to win – and that’s okay. But a loss in which a guy or two steps up and tries to lay claim to a position, or a loss in which a pitcher retires the side 1-2-3 is much more valuable than a “ho-hum victory.” Now that said, when a player puts on a uniform, make no mistake that he’s playing to win!

Baltimore Orioles: How does the player rotation turn?

The Baltimore Orioles and new manager Brandon Hyde will play their first two spring games at home in Sarasota this weekend. Kind of a sweet way to open the spring slew of games; the first two games being at home, and on a Saturday and Sunday. But then again in baseball there aren’t days per se. Saturday may as well be Tuesday, aside from getaways days and so forth. But forget about that – we’re only in spring training.

But it will be interesting to see how Hyde (a rookie manager) spins his player rotation in these spring games. Usually the regulars will play in the home games, but the road rosters are usually full of what end up being reserves or minor leaguers. Obviously there’s a rule which says you have to bring at least three regulars to each road game, but teams find ways around that.

However what exactly is the Orioles’ starting lineup? I suspect Davis is at first, Mullins in center, Stewart in left, and maybe Sisco or Wynns behind the plate. That aside, might the home games have lineups that look a lot like those of the road games?

The Orioles are a team who can legitimately say that they may not be able to being “regulars” on the road, as they don’t know who the regular players are going to be. The Birds don’t hit the road until Monday afternoon when they head to Fort Myers to play Minnesota. I suspect that we’ll simply see different young players in that game as opposed to what we’ll see this weekend in Sarasota.

However as has been said as hoc, this Grapefruit League “season” is going to have a different feel. In the past the home games have been about guys getting their reps in to get ready for the season. This year we will see some of that – again from the Davis’ of the world perhaps. But for the most part each game (home and road) will be about competition. It’ll be about guys fighting for a job. And on the flip side it’ll be about Brandon Hyde and Mike Elias picking the very best 25 guys to put on the active roster after March 25th (the final spring game).

And for only the first time this spring (because I end up writing this frequently), I’ll remind folks that wins and losses don’t matter. At least in any game between now and March 25th. Sure fans are going to follow the games and root for the Orioles to win – and that’s okay. But a loss in which a guy or two steps up and tries to lay claim to a position, or a loss in which a pitcher retires the side 1-2-3 is much more valuable than a “ho-hum victory.” Now that said, when a player puts on a uniform, make no mistake that he’s playing to win!

Baltimore Orioles: How will Brandon Hyde handle his bullpen?

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.

Baltimore Orioles: Might Brandon Hyde use an opener?

We know that with Brandon Hyde in control of camp and of the franichse on the field, there are going to be differences in style among other things from what Orioles fans are used to seeing. However there’s one idea that’s been floated about which I hope doesn’t come to pass: the use of an opener. Tampa began the practice last season, and a few other teams followed suit as the season went on.

Just as a refresher, in essence an opener is simply the opposite of a closer. A team opens the game with what would have normally been a relief pitcher, who’s lifted after recording 2-4 outs. Then the guy who was traditionally the starter comes in, in essence in long relief.

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the practice. There’s the obvious argument of that’s just not how the game is played that one could make, and I do believe in that point. However I would submit that it would also induce the propensity to blow through one’s bullpen as well. Managing a bullpen – knowing when to make changes and when not to – is much tougher than it appears. If you blow through bullpen relievers like candy, someone’s arm’s going to fall off. GM Mike Elias on openers:

The opener strategy doesn’t make sense for every team, every rotation or every bullpen. But I can see a scenario or two this year where we might use it this year


Courtesy of Joe Trezza, MLB.com

Given what I said above about using bullpen relievers, it just seems to me that it wouldn’t mesh with a rookie manager’s outlook to use this strategy. But then again, if you’re going to try something on a trial & error basis, this might be the year to do it. However my personal opinion is that this is simply a gimmichy thing in MLB which will eventually run course.

Baltimore Orioles: The buck stops with Brandon Hyde

Things are going to be different this spring for the Baltimore Orioles and their fans. This much we know. But they’ll also be different for manager Brandon Hyde, who’s going from being an assistant to now running the show.

Hyde of course has managed before, but at the minor league level. There’s a vast difference between the two roles. As the title suggests, the buck stops with him now.

The good news for Hyde is that the fact is there aren’t too many holdovers on the roster. That means fewer players who could possibly say, but we’ve always done it this way. And the players who do remain from the Showalter era (the Davis’ of the world as an example) probably aren’t the types to say that. These guys all understand that regardless of how things were done in the past, they’re now going to be done a different way.

But I would also remind fans to be patient with Brandon Hyde. We’ve all started new jobs before, and we know the butterflies that comes with that at first. There’s nobody who’s more aware of the fact that he’s the new guy than Brandon Hyde. Mistakes will be made – especially at first. The good news is that the first 30+ games or so (Florida Grapefruit League schedule) don’t count!

Baltimore Orioles: Pitchers and catchers report today!

Today’s the day to which Baltimore Orioles fans have looked forward for some time. Pitchers and catchers report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota today. Their first workouts will take place tomorrow. The first full squad workout will take place on February 18th.

This is merely the first step in a series of events that will take place, culminating in Opening Day. The Orioles yesterday signed outfielder Eric Young to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. It’s unclear where Young will fit in, if at all. But an invite to spring training means he’ll get an opportunity to compete for a job. That’s all anyone can ask.

This will be an interesting camp in the sense that it’ll be Brandon Hyde‘s first as a manager. Not just his first as manager of the O’s, but his first as a manager overall. It’ll be interesting to see how he runs his camp, and gets the team into game shape.

Fans will have their first opportunity to find out the answer to those questions in a week-and-a-half. Opening Day in the Florida Grapefruit League is Saturday, February 23rd against Minnesota!

Baltimore Orioles: Brandon Hyde and a Super Bowl takeaway

With the Super Bowl now being over, the Baltimore Orioles and the rest of the Major League Baseball are now on the clock. Pitchers and catchers report next week. I can sense the excitement already.

That said, there’s something I’ve noticed about manager Brandon Hyde in his limited public remarks thus far. He seems very dedicated to forming relationships with the players. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s trying to be “buddy-buddy” with them. But he’s trying to get to know them, and what makes them tick. And certainly I’m sure, he’s hoping that they’re trying to do the same thing with regard to he and his staff.

I noticed a similar motif regarding the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots last night. Coach Bill Belichek and quarterback Tom Brady of course are the constants over 17 years of success. But I heard more than one player say that it was about relationships. That’s what makes a team a team.

So that really boded well for the Orioles’ future in a sense. If there’s one organization that any team in any sport would want to emulate, it would be the Nee England Patriots. If the Patriots are all about relationships and the Orioles are trying to form relationships, that probably means that the Orioles are doing something right.

Baltimore Orioles: Is youth the new hand of experience?

It didn’t take much to know that the Baltimore Orioles were going to go with a youth movement this year. New GM Mike Elias (who’s incidentally younger than I) and new manager Brandon Hyde certainly fit that bill. These are men who have never done their respective jobs to this point, but who have certainly seen how to do them and seen it up close.

That’a not unlike moving up in any other career path, for the record. If you get into a company out of college on the ground level, you see your superiors doing their jobs. After a couple of years maybe one of those jobs comes available, you apply, and you’re hired. You have no experience in the job, although you’ve seen it close up.

However as I look around sports, I see lots of teams getting younger in the dugout or on the sideline. The Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, and Boston Red Sox all have young managers. It’s one thing for the 2019 Orioles – a rebuilding team. But those are teams looking to contend. Heck, Boston won the World Series with a young manager.

The Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA have a young coach in Luke Walton. Again, that’s a team who expects to go to the playoffs each year. And look at the Ravens right here in Baltimore. When they hired John Harbaugh they were looking to contend; and he had no experience.

In my world, there’s no substitute for the steady hand of experience. That’s why Buck Showalter was the right hire in 2010 for the Orioles. And results over time proved that point to be correct. But is the sports business changing?

I think that there’s a perception out there that older and more experienced coaches or managers are less likely to think outside the box or take chances in games. They’ve always done it this way, and that’s not going to change. Younger coaches are hungry and they’re eager to make their own way.

I still maintain that there’s no substitute for the steady hand of experience. That should and will always be the case. Again, the 2019 Orioles were almost begging for a young leader. Someone exactly like Brandon Hyde. However it’s just interesting to see that experience doesn’t necessarily mean what it used to across the sports industry.

Baltimore Orioles: A different kind of spring training awaits

Pitchers and catchers for the Baltimore Orioles will report to Sarasota for spring training roughly a week-and-a-half after this weekend’s Super Bowl. That’s kind of tough to believe if you think about it! It seems like just yesterday we were bidding farewell to the horrid 2018 season. But yet here we are.

Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see how new manager Brandon Hyde conducts spring training. It goes without saying that from manager to manager things will be a bit different. It also goes without saying that regardless of who the manager is, this year was always going to be a bit different.

At this time last year the O’s were expecting to contend in 2018. Heck, at this time over the course of the last several years they were expecting to contend. That effort always began on the green fields of Sarasota. That’s certainly where this year’s journey will begin as well, however there’s no real expectation of being in contention. Yes, we know that things happen and that hope springs eternal – but I’ll just leave it at that.

I think that in spring training this year we’ll see more of an emphasis on fundamentals. However even before that, we’ll see an emphasis on becoming a team. The Orioles of yesteryear didn’t have t go through that process per se. This new group will.

Once the games actually begin towards the end of February, one difference I think we’ll see is that home games and travel rosters will be much more interchangeable. Most of the time veteran players are granted a professional courtesy in a sense, and they aren’t required to travel to the road games (maybe two or three here and there, generally towards the end of the spring). However this year I suspect things will be different.

Hyde and his staff are literally trying to figure out the composition of the team. The question of who’s on first is going to be much more than a slapstick routine. So I suspect we’ll see some similarities in terms of who plays in Sarasota and who’s on the travel rosters.

And as I said at FanFest this past weekend, Orioles’ fans should look at this season and specifically at this spring training as an opportunity to “get in on the ground floor” of a new team. 2019 is going to feel much different, and that’ll be true from the very beginning. But the first time this group wins a game in walk off fashion, that old feeling of Orioles Magic will come back through the yard. And things won’t see so off.

However in the interim, Brandon Hyde and GM Mike Elias will have to get a starting lineup ready to go. And that process will start in the coming weeks in Sarasota.

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