Orioles eager for first intrasquad game; No snap judgments for Hyde; Stewart wants to make an impact - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles eager for first intrasquad game; No snap judgments for Hyde; Stewart wants to make an impact

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

After five days of replicating spring training workouts, the Orioles’ summer training goes under the lights on Wednesday night. The Orioles will play the first in a series of intrasquad games at Camden Yards. Tommy Milone and Thomas Eshelman will be the starting pitchers in a game that’s anticipated to be 7 ½ innings.

“They’re really ready to go,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “These guys are itching [for] an intrasquad. I think they’re getting tired of going through the daily workout and ready to play some meaningless games, but at least face pitching and pitchers face hitters in a game environment.

“We’re going to keep the pitching pretty much on their schedule on how they’ve been throwing,” Hyde said.

Outfielder DJ Stewart is looking forward to the intrasquad competition. He was recovering from October surgery on his right ankle during Grapefruit League games.

“I was like the little kid on the sidelines, not allowed to play during the first spring training,” Stewart said. “I could only watch. For me to get out there and get in the competitive atmosphere, obviously it’s against our teammates, but we’re trying to get each other better. We’re all going to treat it as a competitive atmosphere to get ready for Game 1 and the rest of the season.”

Hyde has been pleased with the workouts.

“I think the scheduling has been fantastic,” he said. “We were a little bit nervous on what it was going to look like because none of us have put together a spring training [in] one facility before. It’s gone really smooth.”

Hyde said that shortstop José Iglesias missed Tuesday’s workout because of a sore back.

No snap judgments: Hyde is used to judging players over 162 games, and he’ll have to adjust his methodology.

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“We just don’t know what this is going to look like,” he said. “We’re going to do the best we can in evaluating our own players. I think these next couple of weeks of intrasquads is a nice time as well, really watching our guys play.

“Our guys are in game shape and ready to go. We’ve got two-plus weeks of watching our guys play in games against each other plus [three] exhibition games and then a 60-game season [starting July 24th]. We’re going to find out more about our guys.

“We’re still in that process of evaluating our own talent and developing from within, a lot of our younger players. We’re going to utilize that time to get these guys acclimated to the big leagues and continue to get them major league experience.”

Chance for Stewart: With just four outfielders on the roster, Stewart has an opportunity to begin the season with the Orioles.

Because of the surgery, it was likely Stewart would have begun the 2020 season on the 10-day injured list had spring training not been halted on March 12 because of the coronavirus, leading to the delayed start of the season.

“Last year was a tough year for him from the injury standpoint,” Hyde said. “He didn’t get the at-bats that we would have loved to have seen him gotten as well as the innings defensively and then in spring training, he was behind.”

In 44 games in 2019, Stewart hit .238 but had a .317 on-base percentage. He hit four home runs and drove in 15 runs. After a hot start at Triple-A Norfolk, Stewart was called up but hurt his ankle in a collision in early June and missed two months.

“I thought I was in a really good place, ready to come back kind of towards the end [of spring training] when everything was shut down,” Stewart said.

“Being home and having this second offseason to do what I normally do in the offseason put me in a really good place as far as my body and being able to compete, just feeling 100 percent. I thought the ankle was good then, and I’m even more confident now.”

Without Trey Mancini, who will miss the 2020 season because of surgery and treatment for colon cancer, the Orioles have Stewart, Austin Hays, Anthony Santander and Dwight Smith Jr. listed as outfielders.

“It’s a huge opportunity,” Stewart said. “It’s an opportunity for everyone out there.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    July 8, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Hyde said Igleseis missed time w/sore back, health related, Hippa related, Mikey said they wouldn’t divulge health related info because of Hippa, hmmm, maybe they don’t talk…go O’s…

    • cedar

      July 8, 2020 at 9:35 am

      There is a difference here is that the testing protocols include additional testing if one tests positive due to the number of false positives that happen. So announcing test results for individuals doesn’t provide the complete picture.

    • CalsPals

      July 8, 2020 at 2:57 pm

      No test needed for a sore back, still falls under Hippa…go O’s…

    • OriolesNumber1Fan

      July 11, 2020 at 8:52 pm

      Mike Elias said “Orioles will not announce positive coronavirus tests” very specific on this topic. Learn how to read before you criticize!!! How many times do you need to be reminded???

  2. cedar

    July 8, 2020 at 9:32 am

    I’m looking forward to seeing what an outfield of Stewart, Hays, and Santander can do over this shortened season.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 8, 2020 at 10:10 am

      I’m with you on this. I’m confident that Hayes & Santander are going to be above average major league players … Stewart is the wild card in this immediate equation. Add the possibility of Y. Diaz growing into his potential, and the O’s may already have a nice outfield for the foreseeable future. I know that everyone is going to laugh at this one, but I’m not yet ready to give up on Cedric Mullins.

      I’d also like to note for all the Elias supporters, that the boy genius not responsible for any of these youngsters. Danny Duqs is.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 8, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Im laughing at Mullins sorry

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 8, 2020 at 10:35 am

        And I can certainly understand why. But in the 50 years I’ve been watching O’s baseball, we’ve lost so many really good players to other clubs simply because of impatience. From Bob Bailor to Justin Turner to Jason Werth. I’d hate to see Mullins patrolling center field for another club over the next 10 years. Give him a chance to figure it out. Keep him on the 40 and play him in Norfolk for now.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 8, 2020 at 10:37 am

      Ken, I think you mean Don Baylor.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 8, 2020 at 11:56 am

        No Rich, I meant Bob Bailor not Don Baylor.

        Bob Bailor was a Shortstop … not a star player, but a pretty good one. Maybe he’s not a good example when compared to those other 2. I just remember losing him to Toronto in the expansion draft.

        I threw him in there just because I remember reading about him in SI as a kid. (and later using him in Strat-O-Matic) He was a prodigy from the American Legion circuit. The O’s gave up on him after very little Major League time and left him unprotected. I believe his claim to fame is that he was their (Toronto’s) 1st expansion draft player chosen.

        The O’s never ‘gave up’ on Don Baylor, who we all loved. I hated to see him traded for Mr. October. Nice try, but Reggie didn’t want to play in charm city. The lights just weren’t bright enough in Bal’more.

        • Rich Dubroff

          July 8, 2020 at 1:09 pm

          Ken, I apologize. I have been writing for this site for two years this month, and in that time, nearly every former Oriole, I think, has been named–but not Bob Bailor–until now.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            July 8, 2020 at 3:01 pm

            No problem Rich! I doubt very many of even the most ardent Os fans would remember him. He just has a hook in my memory for some reason. I’ve forgotten more players than I could ever remember. I just looked up Bailor, he had a total of 13 at bats over 2 seasons with the O’s. I just remember that SI article and his American Legion and minor league press.

    • cedar

      July 8, 2020 at 10:52 am

      I agree that Elias gets no credit for acquiring those players and nor would I necessarily give him credit for their success. But I do give June credit for the improvements the pitchers have seen over last year. There is much to complain about but I think we undervalue the impact a new system with analytics data could be making.

    • ClayDal

      July 8, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      Not to argue with Boog over a roster move from 44 years ago( before Elias was even born), but the Orioles didn’t want to lose Bob Bailor. But they had more talent then. Murray, Singleton, Palmer, Flanagan, Dennis and Tippy Martinez, McGregor, Belanger, etc,etc. If I remember correctly (been 44 years) Bailor was the first pick in the expansion draft by Toronto. Also 39 year old Brooks Robinson was exposed but not taken. The hope was that if Seattle took him he would be the ancient Mariner

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 8, 2020 at 3:24 pm

        Not taken as an argument. You actually validated my belief that Bailor was Toronto’s 1st pick in that expansion draft.

        You make an excellent point as to the reasoning he was left unprotected. And I certainly don’t remember Brooks being left unprotected, but that doesn’t surprise me. I never lived in Baltimore to read the local newspapers, and that depth of information really wasn’t available at a national level at the time. The internet obviously changes the equation. Ancient Mariner? … LOL

        BTW sir, you seem to have an encyclopedic memory/knowledge of our favorite team! Me thinks you may be more than a fan in some professional way?

    • CalsPals

      July 8, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      June who?…go O’s…

  3. Bhoffman1

    July 8, 2020 at 10:27 am

    I also laugh at Smith jr. not just his dreadlocks but his arm and potential

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 8, 2020 at 10:36 am

      Smith Jr is a bum. No need to keep him around. There is a good reason Toronto cut him loose.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 8, 2020 at 11:27 am

      Agree like I’ve said Williams does everything better then him and his more versatile for a fourth outfielder plus has a nicer haircut

      • Rich Dubroff

        July 8, 2020 at 3:45 pm

        Bruce, you should be happy. Mason Williams and Ryan Mountcastle have been added to the Orioles player pool though they will probably go to the secondary site. If you followed me on Twitter, you would have seen that earlier.

    • ClayDal

      July 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm

      Eventually I suspect Williams will be here. Best guess is they are waiting to see how the waiver wire shakes out. If they can claim a younger outfielder with minor league options, they have plenty of space to add him. Unless Williams has an opt out clause in his contract, the Orioles aren’t in any rush to add him. And Williams is probably in good enough shape that he won’t need much time to get ready. Remember, this isn’t the NFL with final cuts. This was just an initial “Spring” Training roster

    • ClayDal

      July 8, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      Mason Williams and Ryan Mountcastle added to the roster.

      • Rich Dubroff

        July 8, 2020 at 3:48 pm

        Glad you follow me on Twitter, John!

  4. dlgruber1

    July 8, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Santander is still not in camp last I heard. Makes it kinda hard to be a regular outfielder.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 8, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      He’ll be there. I hope.

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