Orioles start the season and a new era today - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles start the season and a new era today

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

NEW YORK—Brandon Hyde is ready for his first regular-season game as a big league manager, and it’s coming on the biggest stage. Hyde’s debut comes shortly after 1 p.m. today, when the Orioles and New York Yankees open their seasons at Yankee Stadium.

Hyde’s been to Yankee Stadium only once, when he was a coach for the Chicago Cubs in 2014.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” he said, sarcastically. The Cubs and Yankees were snowed out and played a makeup doubleheader. Chicago was shut out in both games on a total of nine hits.

“So that was my experience at Yankee Stadium,” Hyde said.

Hyde hopes to manage many games in the Bronx and said he was happy with the Orioles’ six-week training camp in Sarasota, Fla.

“We’re all ready for it,” Hyde said. “We’re ready for the real thing to start for sure. I’m obviously really excited…You can’t take too much into account with spring training because now it’s the real deal. We’re going to face guys that are big league players for nine innings and good competition. I can’t wait for it to get started.”

Hyde and general manager Mike Elias weren’t concerned about the spring record. The Orioles finished the Grapefruit League with a 12-17-3 record and were winless in their last eight games after losing a franchise-record 115 games a year ago.

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“I’m really, really happy with the camp,” Hyde said.

“We came in here with the mindset to create a great environment, to give opportunities to a lot of young players, and for the most part, we’ve really showed well in camp. Everybody’s itching to go and ready to start the season…It’s a whole different ballgame when you get out of here. I’m just looking forward to the season starting and watch our guys play for real.”

The team that will be introduced at Yankee Stadium has eight players new to the organization since last season — infielders Hanser Alberto, Drew Jackson, Richie Martin and Rio Ruiz; catchers Pedro Severino and Jesus Sucre; outfielder Dwight Smith Jr.; and pitcher Nate Karns.

Just nine players — pitchers Pedro Araujo, Richard Bleier, Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, Mychal Givens and Mike Wright; first baseman Chris Davis; and left fielder Trey Mancini were on last year’s Opening Day roster.

Many fans were disappointed when the Orioles sent outfielders Austin Hays and Anthony Santander and catcher Chance Sisco to Triple-A Norfolk, but Elias has a plan.

“We’re trying to maximize the amount of talent that we have on that roster,” Elias said.

“We expect that roster to be very fluid this year in terms of movement between Norfolk and Baltimore. Just because somebody’s not on the Opening Day roster doesn’t mean that they’re not going to be a huge part of the team this year.”

The Orioles used 56 players last year, also a record, and there will be much movement this season.

“We’re very cognizant of…where we are, that we’re going to utilize that whole 40-man as best we can and some of the guys here that are breaking and making the team are out of options,” Elias said.

“We don’t have a choice to either keep them on the 25-man or risk losing them from the organization. We want to give some of these guys a shot. They came in. They had good springs. They’re promising talents. We’ll see how the early part of the year goes for them, and then make a determination at that point.”

Elias wasn’t hired until mid-November, and he didn’t hire Hyde for another month. The coaching staff wasn’t complete until late January.

Nearly a third of the team is new for this season. Only one of the eight new acquisitions, Karns, was a major league free agent. Another, Sucre, was a minor league free agent. Smith was picked up in a trade for international signing bonus money, Jackson and Martin were Rule 5 draft selections. The other three, Alberto, Ruiz and Severino, are waiver wire pickups.

But many of the players who will take the field in the Bronx were on that 115-loss team.

“I think the team’s got a little bit of a chip on its shoulder,” Elias said. “We lost a lot of games last year. It was a very rough year. We know nobody is predicting us to win a ton of games this year and these guys have a little bit of a chip on their shoulders for that. They’re playing for that, and they’re playing for their careers, too.”

Elias is looking forward to the draft in June, when the Orioles will have the first selection. On July 2, the Orioles expect to have a presence in the next international signing period. Elias has tamped down expectations, cautioning that the market is a tricky one, and that the Orioles are going to need time to prove they’re serious players.

Attendance last year was 1.56 million, a 40-year low for a full season, and although some fans are disillusioned, there is still a pent-up affection for the team that Elias rooted for as a child.

Many of those fans vow to stick with the Orioles, believing that there is a cogent plan for long-term success.

“We’re doing things the right way…the way that they need to be done,” Elias said.

“The end goal here is not to cobble together a one-year wonder, a.500 club that could be a disaster if it doesn’t work right and we spend a few years digging out of that hole.

“We want to put together a perennial contending organization. And we’re initiating that process. We know how to do it. We’re going about it the way you need to go about it. In the meantime, there’s going to be young talent on the field.

“They’re going to be hustling, playing hard. They’re going to be ‘tools’ as we say in the scouting world, big talent out there that we can watch and we’re in a wonderful baseball environment here in Camden Yards and here in the Inner Harbor. You know, you come appreciate the sport and see some good baseball and watch this team grow.”

 

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. OrioleBaaebal

    March 28, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Let’s go o’s! I know it won’t be a successful season but as long as the young guys progress, and we can pick up some prospects this year would be a success

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    March 28, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Did I read that right?

    “We’re trying to maximize the amount of talent that we have on that roster,” Elias said

    He was talking about the Tides wasn’t he? Frankly Mr. Elias, I’d much rather you concentrate on maximizing the talent on the mother teams roster. Nobody remembers International League championships.

    And before all you GM-wanna-be types out there jump my case and start pointing out the ‘right way’ of building an organization is to utilize the Houston Blueprint, let me point out that tanking really, really is going to suck and on top of that, I don’t think it’s necessary. Tanking has nothing to do with building a scouting organization. It has nothing to do with jumping in feet first into the international talent pool. I can’t remember the Sox, Yankees, Dodgers or Cubs throwing games to further their cause. You don’t have to have the 1st pick for 3 straight years to build a team through the draft, you just have to find the players in the later rounds. Tanking won’t help you in those rounds. Let me also point out, that Houston has only one championship. Not exactly a dynasty in my book. Let’s check back with them in 3 years to judge that blueprint before we hail it as the proper way to run a major league team.

    So come July, when the seats are full with about 4000 patrons, remind me then how stocking your AAA franchise is the way to go. I’m hoping Mr. Elias has all the success in the world as I’m going to root, root, root for this team as long as I live, but let’s be carefull of what we wish for. We may all be pining for the day’s of Dumpster Dan before this is all over.

    So Mr. Elias … please … let’s worry about getting players to Bal’more, sooner rather than later. The rest of the league is chock-full-o-22 year olds. Let’s get the talent where the talent belongs.

    End of rant.

    • TxBirdFan

      March 28, 2019 at 8:25 am

      What Boog said!

    • Birdman

      March 28, 2019 at 9:23 am

      Don’t worry about “tanking” – the Orioles had already descended to the bottom of the tank (47 wins) under the Peter/Dan/Buck regime, before Elias got here. Now Elias has the task of cleaning up the mess, and cleaning up the mess doesn’t mean winning 65 games this year instead of 60. And the notion that having Sisco and Hays on the Opening Day roster would make a significant difference in 2019 in terms of either wins and losses, or attendance, is silly.

    • Camden Brooks

      March 28, 2019 at 11:42 am

      So Boog, your post makes you sound an awful lot like a “GM-wanna-be type.” Lighten up Francis.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        March 28, 2019 at 2:13 pm

        I’m no GM wanna be … I just want to see the best players we have, and last I checked, MASN doesn’t broadcast NorfolkTides games.

    • Bancells Moustache

      March 28, 2019 at 12:50 pm

      I’ll agree with the Boogster in that I hate the fact it is accepted as gospel that the only way to field a winning team is to subject the fanbase to half a decade of 100+ losses. There are other ways, they are just more difficult. My problem with Elias plan is where he is doing it. I question whether Elias will be here to see it through. The Angelos boys are talking a big game, but lets see if they still “trust the process” when the old man peeks out the window and sees 5,000 in the seats on a Friday night against the Yankees.

      Also Boog; the Cubs ABSOLUTELY tanked in the first half of the decade to get where they are. Theo Epstein is the George S. Patton of the tank. And Houston would have won the WS last year if Correa and Altuve were healthy and that overrated outfit up in Massachusetts didn’t get the one seed because they play 19 games a year against, well, us.

      • Orial

        March 28, 2019 at 12:59 pm

        Tanking? Really? Play competitive,rebuild. But tanking? I think not. These aren’t the 1919 Chicago Black Sox.

        • VICTORTEE

          March 28, 2019 at 2:06 pm

          The players don’t tank.But a front office which will not add useful players is tanking.
          I respect the Rays and A’s. Neither has much $ but each tries to add players any way they can to be competitive every year. That is NOT what Houston did. 3 straight years of 106+ losses.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        March 28, 2019 at 1:46 pm

        BanMo… I stand corrected. The Cubs indeed stunk it up for Theo’s 1st 3 years. And yet how many championships has that produced? Same number as the Astros.

        To borrow a drum you’ve been banging around here for 3 years … relocation … the Cubs would never move, however the chances of the O’s calling the Mayflower Vans and heading out to Vegas increase exponentially with each passing losing season. Tanking sucks.

        • Jbigle1

          March 28, 2019 at 3:02 pm

          Not with the sweet stadium deal Our lovely former comptroller William Donald Schaefer secures for PA. We aren’t going anywhere. The rays or A’s will be long gone before us. OPACY is a great park as well. Our payroll will be so low these next few years Angelos won’t give a rats asssss if we have no one in the stands.

    • VICTORTEE

      March 28, 2019 at 2:01 pm

      Darn Boog, I don’t have to post. Two days in a row you said exactly what I would have said.

      Great minds must think alike. LOL

  3. jimr62

    March 28, 2019 at 8:23 am

    He meant for the long term roster. You have to be patient. Rebuilding isn’t an offseason process. It takes years to turn around an organization. Especially one who refused to scout internationally. Elias has a plan and it will take time to execute. Leaving our most talented young players in the minors not only gives them another year of arbitration control but it also gives them more time to develope. After these kids are ready, they will look at the areas of the roster that need a talent infusion. Then they will add with free agents. Signing free agents now would be foolish. Fans will have to be patient or jump ship. Personally I love this process and watching both the Big League club and minors. This should have been started when Machado had two years of control left. Then they could have received a bonanza of young talent back for his services. They knew this organization could not afford one player taking a huge portion of the roster budget and still be competitive. They are finally doing the right thing. In Elias we trust.

    • VICTORTEE

      March 28, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      Drink the Orange Kool Aid. You do know that Elias has never been the top guy. We don’t know how good he will be making the final decisions.

      • jimr62

        March 28, 2019 at 2:35 pm

        Damn right I will drink the Orange koolaid. That’s what fans do.I choose to have an optimistic outlook unlike pessimists such as yourself. Crying about rebuilding doesn’t help anything.Last I checked this is America and we can voice our opinions just like you just did.Except I respected yours…

  4. Bman123

    March 28, 2019 at 8:27 am

    It may take three months or so for some of the “A” talent to make its way back up to the Os. We’re stuck with the “B” team for the moment. I think after a brutal first half and trades, they will be forced to bring up some guys in July and August (Diaz, Hays, Sisco, Mountcastle, Akin, Harvey? etc..) depending on how they’re doing in the minors at that point.

  5. Tony Paparella

    March 28, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Until I see a definitive lack of diligence on the part of this new regime I will trust their judgement and decision making.It has basically been said some guys made the team because of a lack of options and we know the rule 5″s are on there in order to get more of a look at them as that is the only way to keep them for now.And we know why a couple others are still on the team and they know why also.I am sure there will be some mistakes and wrong decisions and us fans will be showing our displeasure at times but we have to trust the process for now.As has been said many times this team will be transforming all year long and may look different at a lot of times this year or at least be changing from time to time.Right out of the hole we don’t have Cobb and pitching has not been looking that great so it may be rough going because of that dilemma but let’s try and be a little more understanding.We know what it is probably going to be for awhile but we might as well enjoy some of the better moments that will come for sure.No reason for the fans to not show up as the players (team)will obviously be playing as hard as anyone else in baseball.

  6. moeknowsos1969

    March 28, 2019 at 10:00 am

    I’m with Boog on this one. First I will say I will watch today and root for anyone in a Oriole uniform to pound anyone in a Yankee$ uniform. That said, I’ve been in the coaching ranks both private and collegiate ranks. Sorry but this roster does reek of a tank job. You play your best period at the top level period. If the Oriole brass want you to be patient, tell them back with your dollars. Tell them the fan is being patient with their dollars till a better team is field.
    It’s funny you never hear the words rebuild in the NBA, NHL, or NFL.

    • Jbigle1

      March 28, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      Man you must not watch much of the NBA because teams tank harder than any other professional sport. Sisco is the only prospect we sent down who is ready to play. Diaz and Mountcastle haven’t played at AAA. Mountcastle is an absolutely horrible defender and has to find a position before we call him up even if the bat is close to ready. Hays was also horrible last year. One spring training isn’t enough to erase all that. Sisco was pretty bad last year too so I guess I might be too mad about that one as well. Everyone talks about how all the talents in Norfolk but I hate to tell you we could have everyone of those guys up on the roster and We’d probably win the same amount of games. We’re tanking one way or the other because we don’t have nearly enough talent in the organization right now. If anyone thinks we do they’re completely blind.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 29, 2019 at 8:33 am

      Moe, jbigle is correct. The NBA has come up with rules to counteract tanking.

      The NFL and NBA are different because the draft can immediately produce results, certainly in a year or two. In baseball, no one goes from the draft into MLB.

  7. Bancells Moustache

    March 28, 2019 at 11:02 am

    The other day a friend of mine asked if I would go to Opening Day with him and hit one of the pre-game tailgate parties a few hours before. I was disgusted. I shouted indignantly into the phone that the Orioles were a disgrace, that It was absurd to expect me to invest over $100 to see a team that refuses to invest money in giving me a good show. I thundered that the Angelos family were a bunch of shysters robbing the State of Maryland blind, that had over my dead body would I pay to watch Davis whiff 4 times and Bundy toss it in underhand, and that I don’t care if Elias went to Yale, I’m not hiring him to be my doctor.

    Anyway, I’ll be in section 306 on Opening Day if anyone is looking for me.

    • jimr62

      March 28, 2019 at 11:34 am

      Best comment of the day…Well done sir. Enjoy..

  8. Raymo

    March 28, 2019 at 11:28 am

    So here’s a modest proposal. Let’s have our DH hit for Davis. Our pitchers can’t be much worse at the plate than what we’ve come to expect from him. At the very least they probably know how to bunt.

  9. Hallbe62

    March 28, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Let’s go Birds. I’ll retrain my brain that “winning is everything” will not be applicable for a few years. I don’t know what the future holds for my beloved Orioles but win, lose, or draw, I’ll do my level best to not give up on them and also not be overly critical of Elias’s handling of the club.

  10. Orial

    March 28, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Who’s to say this ISN’T their best team being fielded today? Sisco,Hays,Diaz,Santander,etc all need fine tuning and playing time at a lower level. Until I see a stud signed Inernationally or a true ace rise thru the organization THIS will be the best team fielded. That being said–God help us.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      March 28, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      But if you’re tanking …. who cares where you fine tune your craft? In my neighborhood, the kids that played with the older kids turned out to be better players than the kids who played with their own age group. Same concept.

      The sooner a player sees a major league curveball .. the sooner the player hits the major league curveball. Just my opinion.

      • VICTORTEE

        March 28, 2019 at 2:15 pm

        A couple of days ago I watched a Braves game on MLB network. The announcers said Bobby Cox and the Braves philosophy was to put the young players in the lineup and let them “sink or swim”. Obviously if they sank too much they would be sent down. So again, I agree with you on letting the kids play. I get the impression Elias doesn’t think he has anything to learn from anybody.

      • Jbigle1

        March 28, 2019 at 3:20 pm

        Boog we get them for another year if we keep them down. Being overmatched in the big leagues doesn’t make most players better either. There’s a long list of guys who were rushed up too early and failed. You need to be in the minors long enough to struge. Guys fall so in love with prospects that they want these guys up tomorrow because they’ve done well in the minors so far. Let them go to AAA see how that goes. If they tear it up then call them up. If they’re slumping then you let them work through it at the appropriate level and you didn’t make the mistake of having them up when they didn’t belong. You should know that. Santander was awful last year as was Sisco. I don’t think playing like crap in the big leagues made Santander any better. Both of them didn’t play very well in the minors when they went back down.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          March 29, 2019 at 7:23 am

          Dude … Hays, Santander, Sisco …. these guys have already been on the big stage and the clock is already ticking. We don’t get to keep them any longer by putting them in Norfolk. Now Mountcastle .. that’s a different story.

          • jimr62

            March 29, 2019 at 8:03 am

            Santander has acrued his service time so he did not HAVE to be sent down. The others have not and therefore sending them down delays the accumulation of 187 days service time in the Major Leagues. Hays and Sisco’s clock has started and if they were on the MLB roster all year would have accumulated enough time and therefore the Orioles would lose a year of control of arbitration. Elias knows this and that’s why they were sent down. Say if Sisco has 87 days in the league, he could come up after 63 games played without the Orioles losing a year of control. 87+ 99 =186 days of service time. This article explains the process better… https://www.pitcherlist.com/service-time-and-what-it-means-for-top-prospects/

  11. Jbigle1

    March 28, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Sucre starting the season off with a passed ball and an error on a flyball. It’s not like he graded out as a good defensive catcher by any metrics last year either. I’m really not sure why we kept this guy. Hope Chance or wynns are up sooner rather than later.

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