Hyde hopes Orioles can get back to playing competitive baseball in the second half - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Hyde hopes Orioles can get back to playing competitive baseball in the second half

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

By almost any measure, the Orioles had a horrible first half. It’s not likely that the second half will be measurably better, but manager Brandon Hyde is trying to maintain an equal amount of optimism and realism.

“We’ve gone through quite a bit these first 80-something games,” Hyde said last week in St. Petersburg, Florida “It’s not been easy. We knew it was going to be a tough road, and we knew where we were, obviously starting this process out and our shortcomings.”

The Orioles play nearly half their games against the four other teams in the American League East: Boston, New York, Tampa Bay and Toronto. They’re just 13-26 against them with their only winning record (5-4) coming against the Blue Jays.

“We play in a tough division against a quality opponent almost every single night,” Hyde said. “I think we’ve assessed a lot so far and we’re going to continue to. I’d like to get back to those games that we were playing the first couple of months where we were really playing competitive baseball.”

Hyde had to watch an awful stretch last month when the Orioles lost 10 straight, their longest losing streak in 10 years, and 13 of 14. In those 13 losses, the Orioles gave up 10 or more runs six times.

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In the nine games since that stretch ended, the Orioles haven’t given up more than six runs in any games.

The Orioles are 6-26 in games decided by five or more runs, and 6-11 in one-run games. They’ve won just a single one-run game since May 1, a maddening 12-11 win at Texas on June 4 that left Hyde as angry as he’s been after many losses.

“Now, I think we have more experience and we know our guys a little bit better. I think we would win some of those closer games that we played early on,” Hyde said.

The second-half Orioles will start play on Friday with eight players on their 25-man roster who weren’t there on Opening Day — if no other moves beyond adding right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks are made.

Catcher Chance Sisco and outfielder Anthony Santander are two of the eight. They received regular playing time over the last month, and they and others are likely to get extended looks in the final 73 games.

“I think we’re going to continue to get young, too,” Hyde said. “Santander’s going to play a lot the second half, Sisco, these type of guys. We’re going to be throwing a lot of 24-, 25-year-olds out on the field, let them develop at the big league level.”

The Orioles are at the bottom of nearly pitching category. Their 5.59 ERA and 170 home runs allowed are the worst in the majors.

“I was looking at our pitching numbers,” Hyde said on July 3. “I’d like to see that really, really improve. We have a lot of guys who are having tough years on the mound.”

Orioles relievers have a 6.21 ERA and none has an ERA lower than 4.29.

“You’ve got to be able to pitch to win in this league,” Hyde said. “You’ve got to be able to pitch to keep games close in this league. I think our starters have done a pretty good job for the most part, especially recently. I’d just like to see our bullpen guys start to keep us in games a little bit more.”

35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 12, 2019 at 7:55 am

    “We’re going to be throwing a lot of 24-, 25-year-olds out on the field, let them develop at the big league level.”

    As if this is a novel idea or something. Hey, all you have to do is look at this years all star lineups to realize that the rest of the league has been doing this for a while now.

    So why weren’t Sisco, Santander & Hays on the opening day roster? It was plain to see after the spring results (and before) that they were the best options the team had. You hear time and time again, from every sport, and every team that they love to promote competition from within. Let the players sort it out. “May the best man win”, so to speak. Well, it’s obvious that in the O’s case, this was either lip service, or an obvious tank job. I buy the latter. Frankly, I believe that Elias must be a descendent of George Patton.

    I know this team doesn’t have the talent to be a winner, but for gosh sakes, I want to see them try to win as many games as they possibly can, And at least from management’s perspective, we haven’t seen as honest effort to win up to this point. Hopefully, and despite Eilas’ agenda, Hyde is being sincere in his efforts and desire to win as many as he can … NOW.

    So I submit to y’all that it’s high time to purge Crush’s contract, promote the likes of Mountcastle, Akin, Lowther, Scott & Harvey. Start moving guys like McCoy up the latter. Take your time building the young arms, but let’s move these kids along. If they don’t work out, then so be it, you’ve learned what they have. But for gosh sakes, if you’re going to lose, lose with your best on the field. After all, 23 is the new 27.

    • VICTORTEE

      July 12, 2019 at 8:53 am

      Two thumbs up Boog. You and I are among the very few on any O’s site who have the audacity to criticize Elias and state flatly the o’s are tanking.
      I wish someone, whether writer or on radio or TV would compare the Houston / Elias tanking model to other team’s rebuilding efforts. When the Braves rebuilt a few years ago they never totally tanked. They signed Markakis to a 4 year contract to be a veteran leader and they picked up various vets along the way. And look how good they are now. And does every team keep real prospects in the minors for extra seasoning or do some bring them up quickly? I don’t know the answer but I wish the “experts” following the O’s would research this rather than drinking the Elias koolaid and continually praising him when he really has not proven anything yet.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 12, 2019 at 9:31 am

        Victor … don’t get me wrong, I like a LOT of what Mike Elias is doing. And a lot of that is owed to the old man giving up control to the GM for the 1st time since he bought the team. BUT … I don’t necessarily think that you need to lose in order to win. The top draft pick is nice, but I firmly believe it’s much more important to get players in the lower rounds as well as through the Latin market as well as building a solid scouting dept.

        I support Mike Elias in all his reported efforts except for what I ‘perceive’ to be his intentionally losing.

        • Orial

          July 12, 2019 at 10:17 am

          Agree no reason to criticize Elias at this point but YES he’s at an advantage that Duquette quite never had–Peter being sent out to pasture.

    • ClayDal

      July 12, 2019 at 9:58 am

      Buck Showalter used to say don’t be fooled by September call ups and Spring Training numbers. Hays, Sisco, and Santander all had good springs, but their 2018 minor league numbers weren’t very good. Cisco struggled offensively and defensively while Hays and Santander didn’t play particularly well at AA Bowie. What Elias was trying to do was give them time to have success at AAA so when they do bring them up they can stay. In the case of Cisco and Santander it seems to have worked. They seem much more relaxed and confident than last year. If Hays could ever stay healthy, we might get a chance to see what he can do. Mountcastle would be up here now if he had a position. Don’t think they want a 22 year old DH. Eventually they will make a decision on Davis. I predict the end of 2020. At that point the money they owe him in the contract is less than the deferred money they owe him. Harvey will probably be up here after they trade Givens-which they will.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 12, 2019 at 10:29 am

        I disagree with your assesments of Santander & Hays.
        Santander tore up Bowie in ’17 … TORE it up. And last year he was injured and limited to less than 400 ABs, but still performed pretty well. The talent is visibly apparent. Cleveland made a BIG mistake exposing this guy .. and while we’re at it …. let all the DD haters chew on the fact that this was a Duquette acquistion.

        As far as Hays, I can’t see where he didn’t perform well since he hardly played due to injury last year. But when he has been healthy, he’s hit. But yeah, you’re right .. he needs to be on the field and not on the training table.

        No offense, but I think you’re too quick to judge Sisco on last years result. Sure he struggled offensively last year, but who doesn’t their rookie season? He’s scorched the ball every other year, and at every stop along his minor league path. Heck .. you don’t have to be a pro scout to look at the box scores and see this. He’s a bonafide .300 bat, and he’ll continue to be. Just takes more ABs to get up to major league speed. Look at what he’s doing right now. No … his spring numbers were no abhoration. He’s the real deal. Mr. Rutshcman may have to wait a while.

        As far as Mountcastle goes .. I say get him up to major league speed now .. while the team is going nowhere. By the time they are, he’ll be more than ready. They’ll find a position for him … and agreed … it needs to be in Crush’s place.

        • Bancells Moustache

          July 12, 2019 at 11:36 am

          As to Sisco, the bat is legit. The glove and the pop time behind the dish, not so much. He appears to be a solid athlete, why not take a peak at him at 2nd or 3rd?

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            July 12, 2019 at 1:41 pm

            That’s a thought. And obviously, he’ll need to move from catcher to be in this teams long term plans.

    • ClayDal

      July 12, 2019 at 10:48 am

      Santander hit .258 last year at Bowie. He’s a very raw talent. The time he spent at Norfolk this year certainly didn’t hurt his development. On a rebuilding team it’s best to keep them in the minors a little longer than to rush them up here. Cisco struggled in the minors -offensively and defensively after being sent down. Having him spend 2 months in the minors was probably a good thing to let him get some confidence before bringing him up. As Elias has said the key is when you bring them up they stay up. Same thing with Hays. The hope is that when he is finally healthy he can come up here and contribute right away. In the meantime, let’s sit back and watch Keon Broxton strike out 1 out of every 2 at bats.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 12, 2019 at 12:35 pm

        I have a hard time thinking that Sisco has a confidence issue. Didn’t see it this spring. Nor did we see any problem with Santandaaaair either. And I don’t see Tony Santandaaaaair being raw either. He’s coming into his own. Noooooo … I’m thinking Mr. Elias has a different agenda that we fans. Now having these guy up here certainly hasn’t changed our fortunes noticably if at all, but a difference of 1 or 2 games won vs. lost, may be the difference in 1 or 2 draft slots as well.

        I am with you as far as Broxton goes …. so why don’t we start a pool and wager on who will have a higher strikeout rate …. Keon or Crush? Bwaahahaaah!

        Better yet….why not let BOTH these clowns go and bring up Mountcastle and ……Stewart?

        • Jbigle1

          July 12, 2019 at 1:39 pm

          Santander’s minor league numbers aren’t good. You keep going back to 2017 but how about 2018 and 2019? He wasn’t hitting well this year at all down there. That was 55 ABS, I repeat 55 at bats in Bowie 2017. That’s an extremely biased statement to suggest he was hurt last year and that’s the reason for the scuffling. The only time he’s produced was 55 ABS after an injury. Quite a few people were in love with Dwight Smith after 100 Abs at well. I’m cautiously optimistic on Santander. Let’s not crown him just yet.

          Sisco was horrible defensively and still largely is. I have no issues with him being in AAA the most important thing a catcher can do is catch. Hays again played like crap in AA when healthy last year and has yet to do anything but get hurt again this year.

          I don’t think keeping any of those guys down was egregious at all. The fact that he called them up by mid season should tell you he had a plan. We would not have won any more games with them anyhow. They had things to work on.

          Mountcastle does too. He’s going to get abused at the major league level if he doesn’t fix K/BB ratio. It’s not going to be Keon Borxton bad but I’d certainly prefer he fixes that before he’s up here. And you know maybe finds a defensive position.

  2. Orial

    July 12, 2019 at 8:21 am

    I don’t mean to be and certainly don’t want to be a “Debbie Downer” about the second half but it’s basically the same conglomerate of players that carried us through the first half. The infusion of SantanDARE/Sisco has brightened things and the demoting of Straily/Hess is a breath of fresh air. Side note–I see where Mullins was optioned “further” down to Bowie. A shame.

    • Ekim

      July 12, 2019 at 9:45 am

      Mullins never should’ve been moved up from Bowie the first time… and I posted it here way back when the move was made. He’ll never be a bona-fide major leaguer… way too many “holes”

  3. ButchBird59

    July 12, 2019 at 9:19 am

    A note to Rich: Joy R. Absalon’s photographs here at BB.com are terrific! In an era of iPhone amateurs, it’s nice to know there are still outstanding practitioners of the art. I thank you!

    I’m still going to be an optimist here and look for some short term goals. It seems most of the recent improvement has been on the road. Let’s start the second half of the season playing better in Camden Yards.

    • joyabsalonphoto

      July 12, 2019 at 10:01 am

      Thank you ButchBird!

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 12, 2019 at 11:10 am

      Butch, it’s nice that you took the time to comment on Joy’s outstanding work.

      We’re very fortunate to have her.

  4. deqalt

    July 12, 2019 at 9:41 am

    When can we start posting the standing with Detroit and KC for the #1 pick. We are 1 game up. What’s the magic number?

    • Bancells Moustache

      July 12, 2019 at 11:03 am

      Don’t sleep on Toronto, who are on the cusp of selling what little big league talent they have left and have shown a pesky tendency to lose to the Orioles.

    • GSISDANNO

      July 15, 2019 at 9:02 am

      It concerns me that we dont hear any good reports about all those young players we got last season for Machado, Schoop, Britton, Gausman and Brach. At first, there were all these reports filled with optimism. Now we hear nothing.
      I think this season has been all about figuring out how many major leaguers we have in the organization. From that perspective , I think we have learned that Hanser Alberto is a big league hitter, Dwight Smith could be part of our future, Cedric Mullins has a long way to go, John Means can help us, and Mychal Givens is not a closer.
      This team is not as bad as last year. They play better defense, they can score runs without a home run, they run the bases better and they are more patient at the plate.
      When they get a decently pitched game, they win.
      Give these guys a chance.

  5. Ekim

    July 12, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I just wish Hyde could say what’s really on his mind. I watch him struggle, night after night, to be PC and to pitch the “party line” in the after game interviews. That has to be one of the hardest parts to his job. Just saying…

  6. CalsPals

    July 12, 2019 at 10:02 am

    I’ve said since spring training, if we get beat, beat our best, after 38 yrs coaching I cannot understand ANYONE not coaching to win, I don’t like to lose, but if their better, tip your hat, there are only a few things players can control, effort is at the top of the list, to me Hyde says all the PC things of today’s game, dump it, show some emotion, go a little old school…not everyone deserves trophies even though today everyone gets one…just saying…go O’s..

    Today’s game will be my wife & mines first at Camden Yards, going on a tour shortly…sending pics to our son in the US Army, former catcher, big Rutschman fan…go O’s…

    • Bancells Moustache

      July 12, 2019 at 11:01 am

      A hearty salute to your son from this old Paratrooper

    • CalsPals

      July 12, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Appreciate it…go O’s….

  7. Bancells Moustache

    July 12, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Well now we get into the portion of the season that will interest the hardcore O’s fans, the casual fan who makes up the bulk of the attendance dollar still has a ways to go. The team has been rolling out too many ghosts of Wild card games past in the preceeding months. Hopefully Elias and Hyde start tossing the prospects into the pool and telling them to swim. Harveys slinging it 100 out of the pen? Here kid, you got Judge and Stanton due up in the 9th, lets see what you got. Mountcastle showing big league power? Chris Sale is on the bump tonight Ryan, go out and earn your money. hays and Santander are supposed to be solid with the glove, let’s see how that plays in the Fenway outfield.

  8. B.C. Bird

    July 12, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Help me out Rich. Mr. Hyde takes the reins of a hopeless team with no chance of winning and his ultimate goal is what? He will have a terrible record and equally awful winning percentage and probably wonder a lot of times why on earth he took the job. Does he think that if the team improves he will be hailed as some sort of savior and possibly gets a long term contract? Too often they get fired and get hired on as a coach with one of their former associates with another team, nothing wrong with that I guess except you will always be remembered as that guy who lost all those games during the rebuilding years. Remember Lee Mazilli and Sam Perlozzo
    I guess what baffles me is why they don’t experiment more with different strategies, be a little creative once in a while. Whats the worst thing that can happen, you get fired?I love the Orioles, always have but like other fans I want to see management put the best we have on the field. Please do not trade our best players in a few weeks to get some more prospects, that really paid off with Manny and Zach leaving. I look forward to the young talent getting an opportunity and succeeding, making Mr. Hyde look like he knows what he is doing. I realize that us fans do not always see the big picture but give us a little credit please and attempt to humor us by letting the manager make decisions so that he has a chance to win. If that isn’t possible just put a robot in the dugout and let Mr Elias push the buttons.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 12, 2019 at 8:56 pm

      B.C., not sure what you’re asking.

    • Camden Brooks

      July 13, 2019 at 8:21 am

      Agree with Rich…my head starting spinning half way through that post.

  9. 33d St

    July 12, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    16-2 in the 7th inning. Keep hoping, Hyde.

    How anyone can pay money to sit through this I have no idea. I turned off the radio once Bundy wild-pitched home the third run in the top of the first. So much for that!

    • CalsPals

      July 12, 2019 at 10:47 pm

      Embarrassing, I’m almost 60 & I guarantee I’m quicker in the outfield than Smith Jr, no hustle, 6th all 3 batters struck out on CALLED third strikes, CD strikes out again, ball gets by catcher & he walks back to the dugout, all things that we can control, I think Hyde needs to crawl up someone’s arse & rip them a new one, best pitcher of the night, Stevie Wilkerson, seriously, oh by the way, the stadium & tour were awesome, the fans & workers were awesome as well, go O’s….

    • ClayDal

      July 12, 2019 at 11:39 pm

      You mentioned one of my pet peeves. Davis strikes out, the ball gets away from the catcher and walks away instead of running to first base. I’m not saying run full tilt to first but at least force a throw That’s the least you can do for 161 million. One small thing I noticed-in the first inning when Tampa stole second and Cisco threw the ball away, Santander was right there backing it up. He was almost in the infield. And he’s not a CF normally. When you lose 16-4 you really got to stretch for positives

    • CalsPals

      July 13, 2019 at 6:39 am

      Agreed, didn’t even mention Villar’s errors, he’s not helping us with any trade value that’s for sure…go O’s…

    • Bhoffman1

      July 13, 2019 at 6:51 am

      Chris Davis is a disgrace . I’ve said it many times how does he sleep at night. Look at Manny and Harper this year big long term contracts have ruined baseball.

  10. Bhoffman1

    July 13, 2019 at 6:43 am

    Not too competitive last night. Bundy pitches with a dead arm. Such a shame the guy threw 97 in high school and killed his arm . Now his fastball is a sitting duck. He was a winner now a loser. Ynoa should be at Norfolk. Time to bring up some young blood. Lowther, Harvey , Bauman, Mountcastle promote McCoy to Norfolk and bring up Hays to play center everyday if he can stay injury free for a week

    • CalsPals

      July 13, 2019 at 1:15 pm

      Agree, bring on the youngens, they can’t be worse…go O’s…

  11. WorldlyView

    July 15, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    O’s should bring up the not-ready-for-prime-time youngsters on one condition. Management would need to reduce ticket prices to reflect what would be the O’s new status: a very good Triple-A team.
    For those who want Hunter Harvey among the call-ups, consider his current ERA: 10.38 at Nofolk.

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