Results tagged ‘ Brandon Hyde ’

Baltimore Orioles: Will bullpen management change in 2021?

My personal opinion is that Brandon Hyde is doing a great job in the Baltimore Orioles’ dugout. Furthermore he seems committed to the organization, which also seems committed to him. A lot of young managers take a job in a rebuild assuming he’ll be fired at some point. Hyde doesn’t seem overly concerned about that.

But there is one area this year which made me raise my eyebrows. I noticed that he had an incredibly quick hook on his starting pitchers. Now in some instances that’s necessary. You don’t want a pitcher out there embarrassing himself. Especially a young guy.

But I felt like there were other games where the O’s were losing games in the 2-0 range, only to have the starter lifted in the fourth inning. I’m not sure if that’s the way Hyde intends to manage in the future, or if that had more to do with the sixty-game season.

There are plenty of people, both analysts and fans alike, who would argue that short starts are where the game is headed. As in the future will be guys pitching maybe three innings in games. Basically a perpetual slate of bullpen games.

So in that sense Hyde may be riding the wave to the future. My personal opinion is that it would be overly-taxing on too many pitchers to have a system like that. But who knows.

I’ll be interested to see next year how he manages the bullpen. Does that trend continue, or are pitchers given the liberty to go deeper into games?

Baltimore Orioles: Falling through the cracks of justice

As I said yesterday, the Baltimore Orioles lead Washington 5-2 with one out and two men on in the top of the sixth. That would be yesterday’s game, which is suspended. The Birds now have to wait in suspense. They’re just held in animated suspense.

However the O’s know when said suspense will end; that would be Friday when Washington comes to Camden Yards for their previously scheduled series. The game will be completed at some point prior to the regularly-scheduled 7:35 game. Washington will bat last in the completion of the first game, and thus be the home team. (Once that’s completed, the Orioles of course retain their home team status.)

This sounds unfair to a degree. Because the Orioles obviously were winning the game when it was suspended. And had the Washington grounds crew handled their duties properly in terms of getting the tarp out and covering the field, it would have probably been a thirty minute delay and the game would have been completed.

However the fact is that by the letter of the law, it was handled properly. MLB Rule 7.02(a) states:

Light failure, malfunction of, or unintentional operator error in employing, a mechanical or field device or equipment under the control of the home club (e.g., a retractable roof, a tarpaulin, or other water removal equipment)”

Obviously this situation falls under the realm of the tarpaulin (tarp). However it does feel just a little jaded in this case. Overall, this is a good rule. However I don’t think it properly takes into account the potential of the home team being part of the problem. The Nationals’ grounds crew indubitably didn’t sabotage the field on purpose (hoping to get the game suspended and perhaps helping the Nationals). But their actions certainly were a big cause as to why the game was suspended.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde was semi-coy with his comments after the “game” (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNSports):

So now I know. Not being able to get the tarp on the field. I guess it’s a recent rule. I’ve never been a part of something like this, so I didn’t know.

I guess what I’m saying, and what Hyde would appreciate, is perhaps in a case like that the game could be considered official. Something along the lines of if in the assessment of the umpire/league the suspension was caused by the actions of one team, the game is considered official. Yes, a clause like that would have given the O’s the win yesterday.

The issue with that however would be that when you leave something up to someone else’s “discretion,” you’re almost asking for trouble. However one way or the other, the Orioles are kind of falling through the cracks of justice in this one. And they’re being held in suspense.

Baltimore Orioles: Is Brandon Hyde mismanaging the bullpen?

Baltimore Orioles’ starter John Means wasn’t in the game for very long tonight. But he was outstanding when he was Mean hung one pitch, and in reality it was the only one that counted. Means’kine: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Means surrendered a solo homer with two outs in the fifth to Miami’s Cervelli. And manager Brandon Hyde popped out of the dugout immediately to relieve him. Now to be fair, Means started the season out injured. This is also only his second start. So perhaps Hyde being careful with him is understandable.

But it just seemed to me to be a fairly quick hook. Especially with a guy in Means who had pitched as well as he did to that point. This doesn’t mean that Hyde’s a bad manager. I actually like how he’s coming along in that department. And managing the bullpen is probably the toughest thing that a manager needs to learn. But especially with a doubleheader tomorrow, I wonder if it wouldn’t have paid to leave Means in the game further.

Miami’s Berti would smack ab RBI-single in the sixth. Miami would later load the bases, and a third run would score on an E5. Miami would add an insurance run in the eighth in the form of a solo homer by Aguilar.

Miami’s pitching obviously shut down Oriole bats tonight as well, and that’s to their credit. This is an Oriole team that was soaring coming out of the weekend, and it would have stood to reason that would have continued given that Miami had to assemble an almost new team. But their pitching shut the Orioles down. And that can sometimes happen.

It almost took divine intervention to get the game off at all. A tropical storm blew through Baltimore in the first part of the day, and then later on there were issues with some COVID tests on Miami’s side. But better to be safe than sorry. The game was delayed 45 minutes and all was eventually well.

The O’s and Miami will play a doubleheader tomorrow at Camden Yards , with the Orioles as the visiting team in game two. Alex Cobb gets the start for the O’s in game one, and he’ll be opposed by Miami’s Elieser Hernandez. In game two Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the Orioles, and Miami’s starter is TBD. Game one begins at 5 PM, with game two beginning approximately 30 minutes after the completion of game one.

Baltimore Orioles: Another bludgeoning of Pittsburgh

The Baltimore Orioles defeated Pittsburgh by a wide margin once again this afternoon. Brandon Bailey got the start for the Birds, and in the short span he was in the game, he was dominant. Bailey’s line: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K.

I do find it interesting, and perhaps a little bit refreshing that manager Brandon Hyde seems to be giving several prospects a good hard look. By that, I mean starts in games. It would appear that the Birds are holding a true open tryout for the starting rotation. Certainly the Means’ and Cobb’s of the world are in, but they seem intent on bringing the five best starters they can find home at the end of March.

The Orioles struck early against Pittsburgh once again, with Ryan Mountcastle doubling a run home in the first inning. Later in the inning Rio Ruiz scored on a wild pitch. And the O’s were off to the races.

The O’s proceeded to get a two-RBI single out of Hanser Alberto in the second, and RBI-singles from Richie Martin and Andrew Velazquez in the third. That put them ahead 6-0 after just three innings. And it left fans wondering if this might be what could be expected come the regular season.

What I would say is that folks should keep in mind that the Orioles don’t play Pittsburgh everyday. But they certainly have made an impression against Pittsburgh these past two days. Yesterday in Sarasota, and today in Bradenton at Pittsburgh’s spring facility.

Unlike yesterday however, Pittsburgh did have a highlight. Murphy’s fourth inning grand slam cut the Orioles’ lead to 6-4. That home run didn’t need to be wind-aided. It was actually against the wind, and got way out of the park.

However the good news is that after being punched in the mouth, the O’s fought back. Dwight Smith Jr. grounded into an RBI in the fifth inning, and Richie Martin‘s bases-clearing triple ran the score to 10-4. And odds are Pittsburgh wasn’t coming back from that. For good measure, Dilson Herrera would tack on an RBI-triple in the seventh, closing out an 11-4 win for the O’s over Pittsburgh. With the win, the Birds evened their record at four wins and four losses on the spring.

The Orioles return to Ed Smith Stadium tomorrow afternoon to take on the Miami Marlins. Prospect Keegan Akin gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Miami’s TBD. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Who starts on Sunday?

Many fans will want to know who gets the ball in the Baltimore Orioles’ spring opener on Saturday against Atlanta. And for sure, it’ll mean something when manager Brandon Hyde tells us who it’s going to be. That will happen sometime between now and Saturday!

But keep in mind that many starters and/or regular players don’t play in road games during spring. At least not until the end of the spring. So whether Saturday gives us a fair representation of who might be in the rotation might be tough to gauge.

That’s why Orioles fans should be more in tuned with who starts on Sunday afternoon against Boston. That’ll be the “home opener” in Sarasota for the Birds. And generally the regulars will play in the home games. So it stands to reason that whomever gets that assignment might be looking to be in the rotation.

Baltimore Orioles: Flu bug biting the Birds

One thing that manager Brandon Hyde had learned about managing the Baltimore Orioles is how precarious guys’ health can be. And I’m not talking about labrums, quads, knees, etc. I’m talking the flu.

Pitchers and catchers reported last week, and sure enough so did the flu bug. All it takes is one guy to have something, and suddenly the entire clubhouse is at risk. All the Orioles can really do is send guys home when they’re taken ill. And that’s exactly what they do.

However the problem is that with any virus you’re at your most contagious in the 24 hours before you show symptoms. So you could be exposing other guys and not know it. Kind of a big issue.

This happens to almost every team on an annual basis. Last year it happened to the O’s in April – during the regular season. That’s certainly worse than having it happen now. It just goes to show you that players aren’t superhuman. They’re just as susceptible to germs and virus’ as you and I.

Baltimore Orioles: How often to play starters this spring?

Baltimore Orioles’ pitchers and catchers are due to report to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota for Spring Training three weeks from yesterday (February 11th). It’s going to happen – ready or not! Roughly a week later position players will be due to report, and February 22nd is the Grapefruit League opener on the road against the Atlanta Braves.

What will the lineup look like that day for the Orioles? Which players get the plush travel assignment that morning from manager Brandon Hyde, and get to play “on the road” against Atlanta? How often veterans or starters find themselves wearing gray during the spring is always an interesting topic.

I would submit that Oriole “regulars” should be seeing as much time as possible in these spring games. This is a very important spring training for the O’s, as they want to make some strides this year. And it all starts in the spring.

It’s a tough line to walk at times because Brandon Hyde will also want to get a look at some younger players, and some minor leaguers. And you do have to be fair to those guys about getting them into games and giving them time to develop. However the “regulars” could also benefit from appearing in an additional game or two above the slate of home games at Ed Smith Stadium.

This isn’t to say that the regulars get the day off when the team’s on the road and they aren’t on the travel roster. They stay behind at the complex, work out, take batting practice, etc. It’s still very much a full work day for them. But nothing beats live games.

Baltimore Orioles: Is sports knowledge too commonplace?

The Baltimore Orioles lucked out when they hired Brandon Hyde. In him they got a good baseball man who had worked his way up the coaching ranks. And it in fact appears that he’s being given full autonomy to do what he wants to do with the team on the field.

I heard a disturbing story over the weekend regarding the Cleveland Browns (of the NFL) and their new head coach, Kevin Stefanski. First off, Stefanski’s a guy who could be seen as similar to Hyde. He’s worked his way up the coaching ranks, and now he’s getting his big break to be a head coach.

It’s almost a given that a coach in any sport who’s never been the head guy is going to take over a bad team. And the Cleveland Browns certainly qualify as a bad team (at best, underachieving). But I read an article over the weekend which stated that Stefanski was told that he’s to turn in his game plans to ownership and to the analytics department at the end of every week. Owner Jimmy Haslam and his analytics department will then go over the game plan, and presumably have the autonomy to make changes if the deem it necessary.

That’s an alleged report. However it’s consistent with some of the things I’ve heard about Haslam’s ownership tenure. And that’s an untenable situation for a head coach in any sport. To have to turn in game plans to the owner? That’s akin to a baseball owner calling pitches from his suite.

However as sports have become more and more a part of mainstream culture in America, they become more well-known. I think I know baseball pretty well – needless to say, well enough to write about it! I also think I know football and basketball pretty well. But I’m also smart enough to know that I don’t know enough about these sports to coach them at the professional level.

I suppose what I’m saying is that many people seem to believe that simply because they “know the game,” they’re good enough to know it at all levels. It appears that the Cleveland Browns have an owner who’s not only not empowering his people, but who thinks he knows the game well enough to be going over game plans. That isn’t a recipe for success.

Baltimore Orioles: Minicamp in Sarasota

The Baltimore Orioles are hosting their annual winter minicamp this week at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Manager Brandon Hyde will oversee the camp, and the Orioles are expecting a large turnout. It’ll mainly be young pitchers, and players who live in the area (Gulf Coast of Florida).

This also gives Hyde a chance to get his coaching staff, which has seen some turnover, together in an official capacity for the first time and evaluate players. And Hyde knows that’s important for the future:

We’re going to have meetings and it’s pretty much getting together as a coaching staff, as well as our support staff with our advance guys and some analysts.

Quote Courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

And the point about some of the coaches being new isn’t lost on Brandon Hyde:

It’s pretty much just getting together, talking about spring training, talking about goals. Everybody getting on the same page. We have a couple new staff members and it’s getting familiar with each other before we embark on this journey.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

Personally I think the idea of having this minicamp (which dates back to former manager Buck Showalter), is a good one. It allows pitchers and younger players to be on the same page before they even need to be. And when you’re attempting a rebuild the caliber of what the Orioles are doing, that’s a big deal.

Baltimore Orioles complete 2020 coaching staff

The Baltimore Orioles yesterday rounded out their 2020 coaching staff. According to a source, manager Brandon Hyde is hiring Darren Holmes as the Birds’ bullpen coach. He had previously held the same position with the Colorado Rockies.

The bullpen coach was the final piece of the coaching staff that needed to be filled for the coming season. It’ll be interesting to see how the relievers out in the pen react to Holmes as their new position leader. The bullpen’s obviously been a bit of an issue for a couple of years.

However here’s an interesting manner by which to look at the Holmes signing. As I said, he held the same position in Colorado…where the ball flies even more so than it does in Baltimore. So he’s used to training pitchers to pitch in tough environments. Time will tell what results we see.

Holmes has been in Baltimore before, albeit briefly. He appeared in five games as an Oriole in 2000, surrendering 13 runs. His ERA was north of 25 in those five games. Hopefully he’s learned a thing or two since then!

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