Hyde says there will be many opportunities in spring training - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Hyde says there will be many opportunities in spring training

Brandon Hyde
Photo Courtesy of Baltimore Orioles

BALTIMORE—It’s still early for Brandon Hyde as manager of the Orioles. Last week, he finalized his coaching staff, and earlier in the month spent a few days with 18 players at a minicamp in Sarasota, Fla.

On Friday night, he met with the members of the team that gathered for FanFest, and on Saturday sat for two question-and-answer sessions with fans at the Baltimore Convention Center.

As the manager for just six weeks, he acknowledges that he doesn’t know his new team as well as he will.

“Put faces to the video that I’ve been watching,” Hyde said. “It’s been a real get-to-know process … The most important thing for me is to get to know them as people first. The way you coach impactfully is by having a relationship first. If there’s no relationship, that’s a lot harder.”

Since he was appointed manager, Hyde said he’s called as many players as he could. He mixed coaches he knew, catching coordinator Tim Cossins and third base coach Jose Flores, with a pitching coach known by general manager Mike Elias, Doug Brocail, along with coaches already in the Orioles’ organization.

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He knew his hitting coach, Don Long, from his days with the Chicago Cubs. Long was the Cincinnati Reds’ hitting coach for the last five seasons.

When spring training begins on Feb. 12, Hyde will begin to construct a team. Currently, 58 players are scheduled to report.

“I know their stats, and I know where guys played last year and I’ve watched guys on video, and I’ve seen some play in the  past,” Hyde said.

The Cubs last played the Orioles in July 2017, and the team is markedly different.

“I don’t know the players that well,” Hyde said. “That’s what the next two months is going to be, getting to know them as well as we can, make really good decisions with Mike, understanding that this is a development deal and we’re going to put guys in positions to have success, so I feel good about that. But right now, if you asked me to pick 25, I’d be lying to you if I said that I nailed that down. I think that’s what the next two months are for.”

When Hyde was with Chicago, there were few open spots on the Cubs.

“This is different,” Hyde said. “This is more how it was in ’12 and ’13 and ’14, where there’s a lot of young, interesting guys that you can’t wait to start developing. And whether they’re ready to make the big league team or not, I can’t tell you right now.

“I think it’s a great situation for a lot of guys. There’s obviously innings on the mound, and there’s [at-bats] to be had. To have the opportunity to win a job, I think as a player, I think that’s what you want.”

Hyde’s spring training will be fascinating since it’s a total unknown.

“Competing matters to me, watching them compete, watching them prepare,” Hyde said. “It’s a clean slate for me.”

He hasn’t laid out specifics, but he has lots of ideas.

“I know our shortcomings from last year,” he said. “We’re going to dive into fundamentals. I believe in simple. I believe in being the best baserunning team in the league. I believe in catching the baseball.”

Hyde wants to be realistic, too.

‘It’s going to be workmanlike. It’s going to be positive. We’re going to have some adversity, but that’s part of development, also.”

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Fareastern89

    January 27, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Fundamentals. Defense. Playing smart baseball. Getting back to the sort of workmanlike team that Baltimore fans have always loved best.

    • VICTORTEE

      January 27, 2019 at 11:31 am

      Those things are important and nice but didn’t Baltimore fans really love the extremely talented teams led by Frank, Brooks, Palmer, Cal, Eddie, etc, etc the best? A bunch of scrubs can play hard but you need talent to win. Which we DO NOT have.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 27, 2019 at 4:11 pm

      Fareastern and Victor, bad teams don’t generally play well fundamentally. That’s why they’re bad.

      When you don’t have overwhelming talent, you try to teach them to play hard and fundamentally well, and hopefully things get better.

  2. Orial

    January 27, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Hyde has a job to do BUT the real work ahead is for Mr Elias.

  3. whiterose

    January 27, 2019 at 10:21 am

    WHY WHY will no one tell us? How long are the contracts for Elias and Hyde? All others are public knowledge.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 27, 2019 at 4:14 pm

      Whiterose, it is interesting that the terms have not leaked out. I have a guess, but it’s just a guess.

  4. SpinMaster

    January 27, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Rich: It sounds like this spring training for you in FLA will not be ho-hum, boring spring training. Hopefully you will get to visit all of your usual haunts in Sarasota and find a few new ones.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 27, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      Spin, I’m looking forward to spring training to see how Hyde puts together a club. Some stone crabs wouldn’t be bad, either.

  5. PA Bird Lover

    January 27, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Envy you, Rich, for having the opportunity to soak up a little FL sun. My wife and I traveled to ST for quite a few years. We’re up in age now and don’t travel like we once did. We did manage to sit in the stands in Sarasota the first year. We have interesting and fond memories of ST in Fort Lauderdale, the old Yankee complex. Earl Weaver always complained about that facility. One thing that stands out for us was the food at Lauderdale ball park was wonderful. Their hot dogs were grilled and the aroma was terrific. Those days were really nice. Have a safe week.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 27, 2019 at 6:58 pm

      Thank you, PA! Wish you could come along.

  6. willmiranda

    January 31, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Hey, Rich, don’t forget your glove. I know you’re a competitor and fundamentally sound. Give Hyde a benchmark for the other 58 hopefuls!

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