Hyde says that 66 players in Orioles' camp means more competition - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Hyde says that 66 players in Orioles’ camp means more competition

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

When spring training gets under way for the Orioles on Tuesday, manager Brandon Hyde will have a roster of 66 players.

“It’s a big number,” Hyde said on Friday at the Birdland Caravan stop at the Greene Turtle in White Marsh. “I’m looking forward to the competition that we’re bringing into camp.”

At the Winter Meetings in San Diego in December, Hyde said he wanted at least eight candidates for the starting rotation. He has more than that.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for a lot of guys,” Hyde said. “Kind of where we are right now. I think the more guys we have competing for jobs, the better.”

Hyde might have to hold intrasquad games and perhaps “B” games with other teams to give players adequate work.

“I’m happy with the number we have,” he said. “I think the challenge in six or seven weeks is to get guys the amount of innings and at-bats. There’s ways you can be creative with that.”

For measurable improvement in 2020, the pitching must be better. Oriole starters had a 5.57 ERA, and relievers had a 5.79 mark during a 54-108 season.

“Last year, we had a ton of opportunity for guys, and we were looking for guys to step up, especially out of the bullpen,” Hyde said. “The majority of them pitched in all sorts of roles, different parts of the game. I hoped that they learned from that and take it into this next year.”

This is Hyde’s second year as a major league manager, and the organization is no longer a stranger.

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“I think it’s a lot easier for me because I know everybody now,” Hyde said. “Familiarity is a big thing for me. Not walking in blind, not knowing many players. This year, I know most guys, so it’s a lot easier.

“I want guys to step up, and I want guys to learn from the experience they had last year. I talked to almost every single guy coming into camp. Everybody’s had a great offseason. I think guys are really driven. I think guys are going to play with a chip on their shoulder, and I just want guys to compete.”

Hyde looks at the large camp roster and sees chances for players to make an impact.

“I’m hoping that it creates guys seeing an opportunity,” Hyde said. “Everybody’s aware that it’s not like that in every camp. There’s multiple jobs to win. A lot more veteran teams, winning ballclubs that have had success in the past few years. There might be two spots available. It’s not going to be that way in our camp.

“I like the arms that we have, that we’re going to bring in. I just want guys to learn from past experiences and take the next step.”

Catcher Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, was on Friday’s caravan. It was the first time Hyde had really spent time with him.

Rutschman, who received an invitation to spring training and could be there until minor league camp opens on March 4, has already made an impression on Hyde.

“Everybody remembers their first major league camp,” Hyde said. “It’s going to great for him to have our major league coaches [Tim Cossins, Fredi González] and for him to be around some of our catchers that have been through it a little bit.

“He’s going to get a lot of experience out of that. It’s going to be a camp that he’s never going to forget. No matter what you’ve done, there’s something different about your first major league camp. We’re all excited to have him in camp. We’re excited for him to get this experience. I’m just looking to watch him play.”

Hyde said that he’s happy with the progress of starting pitcher Alex Cobb, who missed nearly all of last season after hip surgery.

“He feels good, looks good,” Hyde said. “Saw him a couple of weeks ago, and feels healthy and should be ready first day of camp.”

Rutschman ready: Rutschman is heading to Sarasota on Saturday, and he’ll use it as a learning experience.

“I think there’s a lot of new stuff that’s going to be coming our way,” Rutschman said. “Went down to a minicamp a couple of weeks ago, and they introduced us to a lot of new stuff with regards to analytics. I think it’s really good and going to be beneficial … I think big league camp is going to be a great experience, and I’m hoping to build off that.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    February 8, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Why would guys play w/chips on their shoulder, people only do that when they feel they’ve been treated unfairly…hmmm…go O’s…

    • Borg

      February 10, 2020 at 5:59 am

      That was the first thing that truck me about the article as well. Also…66 players does not mean more opportunity, it means players won’t get nearly the same attention they would if they had 45 players in camp. It means a roster without shape or form and another year of trying to sell people on the fact that the team is making “progress”.

      I can accept the philosophy behind a rebuild, but what I cannot take is the constant flow of BS from the front office about how progress is already happening when any perusal of the roster says it has not. And if they are going to put a subpar product on the field while rebuilding, why are they still charging premium prices to watch it? Honestly, they should be cutting $5 off per ticket until they can put something worth watching on the field.

  2. VICTORTEE

    February 8, 2020 at 8:56 am

    The “scrubs” will fight it out. Elias will have 100% say in which prospects make the team no matter how well they perform.

    • Jbigle1

      February 10, 2020 at 2:42 am

      Maybe root for the Nats? The orioles seem to cause you a lot of anxiety and anger

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 8, 2020 at 9:15 am

    “I’m looking forward to the competition that we’re bringing into camp.” … .“Everybody’s aware that it’s not like that in every camp. There’s multiple jobs to win.”

    Sorta like last year … and yet Hays, Sisco & Santander weren’t rewarded. Is this simply more of party-line lip service or are we really ready to start competing? I’m anxious to see.

    First true test of competition …. What happens with Crush? Is that one of those jobs that is “open to win”? Yeah right.

  4. DevoTion

    February 8, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Even though I know it’s going to be another tough season, it’s a little exciting to see how the team comes together. Maybe just maybe things will change for the better

  5. NormOs

    February 8, 2020 at 9:58 am

    With this Spring-training roster, this TEAM? should win between 30 and 40 games with nary a major leaguer anywhere to be found. Am I wrong, did I read two Rule 5 guys in the starting rotation? Elias, congrats, you have finally reached “Rock-bottom”. You’re supposed to go up from here but, in your case, it will,at best, be a sideways move.

    When did you say the “REBUILD” starts?

    • Phil770

      February 8, 2020 at 12:24 pm

      @NormOs, Yes, you are wrong. Where was your outrage when Duquette thought it was a good idea to have THREE Rule 5 guys on the opening day roster on a so called Major League team? The team that set the record for most losses in 2018 was before Elias got here. The rebuild started with revamping the player development process, analytics systems and personnel. I think the improvement of a number of players in the minors, especially pitchers are a reflection of the rebuild.

      • NormOs

        February 10, 2020 at 8:53 am

        Phil 770, I have been saying for years that DD had two farm teams, Rule 5 and the waiver wire. Sorry but it was on MASN so they are going to be tough to find. Also it would seem to me, you can’t start a rebuild with no proven major league player or pitchers on the roster. We know that Mancini and Givens are not long for this team. Once they are gone the team will be devoid of MLB players.

        • WorldlyView

          February 10, 2020 at 2:32 pm

          Norm: Some of our fellow commentators think it would be a GOOD thing for the team to be “devoid of MLB players.” Presumably they would be willing to pay MLB ticket prices to watch the equivalent of a minor league team for a couple of years or more. If we also trade Cobb and Means, the ‘rebuild’ will be in full gear (reverse).

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      February 8, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      Uh …. NormOly I love your take on things, but where does this article say anything about the possibility of 2 rule five guys being in the rotation?

      Besides .. are we sure that 2 rule 5 guys wouldn’t be an upgrade over last season’s rotation?

    • WorldlyView

      February 8, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      For what its worth, NormOs, I mostly agree with you. 30 to 40 wins sounds about right. Some of your critics have swung and missed. Bailey and Rucker, both Rule 5’s, are in the mix for this year’s starting rotation (which has a good chance of being the worst in history). Maybe you could express your rage retroactively about Duquette’s 3 rule 5 players so as to address Phill7700’s criticism of your criticism. On the other hand, I am not sure we have hit, as you say, “Rock-bottom.” As to your closing question, the ‘REBUILD’ has begun; it’s just moving in the wrong direction. It’s built on the premise that short-term signings of a FEW real major leaguers to put a respectable team on the field NOW is horribly misguided. To do so, the “many” prospects in the farm system who are just weeks away from being Major League-ready will allegedly have their development crippled or delayed. If you accept this strategy, the signing of Iglesias was a horrible mistake. For those in a hurry to see our young prospects show their stuff, it makes economic sense to buy relatively cheap tickets at Norfolk, Bowie, Frederick (or the DSL to see those ex-Bosox teenagers). Finally, I ask Rich to tell Hyde that quantity does not necessarily equate to quality. For the record, I hope that the 2020 O’s prove my gloom wrong.

      • Rich Dubroff

        February 8, 2020 at 9:11 pm

        Professor Cohen, is quantity vs. quality part of your economics teaching?

        • WorldlyView

          February 8, 2020 at 11:22 pm

          “Quantity times quality is a constant” is a construct applicable to economics, physics, and love. I am sure Mr. Hyde would appreciate learning about this.

          • Jbigle1

            February 10, 2020 at 2:45 am

            To win 30-40 games you have to be beyond abysmal. Even an abysmal team will pass the 40 win threshold.

  6. willmiranda

    February 8, 2020 at 10:02 am

    I’m glad Hyde’s enjoying the off-season and looking forward to spring training. (No sarcasm here, in case you’re wondering.)

    • VICTORTEE

      February 8, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      Dan may have made bad decisions but he was TRYING to WIN. Elias is TRYING to LOSE. TANKER R US!!!

      • Phil770

        February 8, 2020 at 2:32 pm

        There is a difference between not being competitive and trying to lose. I don’t think he is trying to lose. I do agree that he is not focused on winning. The sad reality is that O’s are a lot closer to being an expansion level team than a competitive, major league team. The O’s need 2-3 “good” surprises (Santander, Means, Hanser) and fewer disappointments (Mullins, Sisco, Hess). We also need to find a way to keep people healthy, as there is no room for error (Harvey, Hays, Stewart, Smith). The rebuild has started; it is just much uglier than anyone cares to see, especially at major league prices.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          February 8, 2020 at 3:42 pm

          Not focused on winning IS tanking my friend.

          Hey … don’t give up on Mullins & Sisco …there’s MLB talent there. I wouldn’t even rule out Hess at this point. Has history not taught us this with the likes of Justin Turner, Jose Bautista & Jason Werth? They were once ‘disappointments’ as well. It takes time and at bats at the major league level for most guys to catch on.

          • Phil770

            February 8, 2020 at 6:05 pm

            @Boog Robinson Robinson: I understand your view about tanking – I don’t agree, but I get your point. Also, being disappointed in a player is not giving up. With both Mullins and Sisco, their defensive deficiencies at their positions, combined with their poor batting results made it seem to me to be far less than I expected for being so highly regarded. I think Sisco would benefit from a position change, 3B or perhaps 2B.

    • CalsPals

      February 8, 2020 at 6:22 pm

      There’s a group of us that have been saying play Sisco at 2B for a while…it makes sense…so they won’t do it…hell try Mountcastle there…go O’s…

      • Borg

        February 10, 2020 at 6:07 am

        I thought I read somewhere that Cisco was a shortstop in high school and switched to catcher because a lefty hitting catcher was enough of a rarity that it would speed his progress to the majors. So he should be able to handle third or first, one would think.

        I watched Mountcastle at Frederick and I only needed one warmup throw from him at short to know he wasn’t a major leaguer infielder-I said as much to my wife and she wondered how I could be so sure. “Rainbows” was my one word answer. He is another first base/DH at a spot already littered with them so I suspect Mancini’s days in an O’s uniform may be numbered as they try to spin him for more prospects somewhere.

  7. NormOs

    February 9, 2020 at 9:58 am

    I must have read about the “two Rule 5 starters” in The Sun

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