Orioles' Elias talks about 2020, Hyde, Davis, Mancini, Iglesias and 2021 - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Elias talks about 2020, Hyde, Davis, Mancini, Iglesias and 2021

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said he’s thankful for his players’ health during a season that was shortened by Covid-19, but that he isn’t satisfied with what he saw on the field.

“It’s very difficult for me to label any season a success where we have a losing record and don’t make the playoffs,” Elias said during a video conference call on Saturday. “I see enough positive things where we can feel good that this year was far from wasted, and there was progress made toward our ultimate goals.”

Entering Saturday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo, the Orioles have a 24-34 record with two games to play. They were eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday.

Elias and manager Brandon Hyde are completing their second season with the team. Elias had praise for Hyde’s work.

“It’s been an extremely difficult year to be a major league manager,” Elias said. “Which is one of the hardest jobs in sports to begin with, and everything that’s he’s had to deal with on a day-in and day-out basis, it’s been crazy. He’s handled it with grace and humanity, and he also continues to be a be a good baseball coach.

“I think everyone’s impressed with the work that he’s done. It’s exciting having him as part of the organization.”

When asked about players, Elias said that he expects that the Orioles will continue to hold on to first baseman Chris Davis, who ends the season on the injured list because of a knee injury. Davis, who will have two years left on his seven-year, $161 million contract, hit just .115 in 16 games after hitting .168 in 2018 and .179 last season.

“It was not a successful year for Chris on a number of fronts,” Elias said. “It’s a tough situation for everyone involved, and that includes him.

“He is under contract with this team. There’s a lot that goes into it, and we do not have plans to alter that fact.”

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Elias expects Trey Mancini, who underwent his final scheduled chemotherapy session this week after colon cancer surgery, to be with the team next season.

“We’re very much hopeful and excited that he can come back and help us,” Elias said. “He fits in well with us. He was everything for us last year, and to add him back next year, I just think gets everyone excited.

“He just went through a lot. It just ended. He’s going to have to get his strength and his baseball activities back. There’s still going to be some work and some processes going through that this winter. He’s such a strong, dedicated, mentally strong kid and person that we have nothing but confidence that he’s going to do it over this offseason and have a great year next year.”

Elias didn’t say whether the Orioles would pick up the $3.5 million option on shortstop José Iglesias’ contract for 2021.

“His impact on the team has been plain to see this year,” Elias said. “He’s really helped us, and we love having him. That goes for a lot of guys here.”

Michael Baumann, a top minor league pitching prospect suffered an elbow injury, a flexor mass strain. His season ended early, and Elias said that the Orioles will start him throwing a little earlier than usual and expect him to be healthy for spring training.

Outfielder Yusniel Diaz, a top minor league prospect, was not called up during the season.

“I continue to be a big believer in him,” Elias said. “He looked good in Bowie. He drew a lot of walks. He hit a lot of homers. His defense looked great.

“He’s somebody that’s going to be able to help us in all three outfield spots, and he could have and probably would have come up and debuted this season or been ready to, but we had so many outfielders in the second half that we wanted to give long looks to, mostly [Ryan] Mountcastle and DJ Stewart, that it was really just their turn.”

Elias declined to say whether there would be changes on Hyde’s coaching staff.

“This has been a really good group, worked well together, had a lot of success and we’re certainly mindful of that, but you always react to each year’s circumstances and think about the future,” Elias said.

“We’ll take a look at all that at the right time, but there’s so much uncertainty right now with the season and just everything. It’s a little different process and timing than in a normal year.”

Elias said that it’s impossible to accurately plan financially for the offseason and 2021.

“We’re going into a very uncertain offseason from a number of angles,” he said. “There’s been a lack of ability to plan that I expect will persist through this winter, and we’ll just take it as it comes and navigate it as well as we possibly can.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Bancells Moustache

    September 26, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    One win clinches 4th place. I know it’s a goofy thing to root for, but you have to crawl before you walk. Let’s go boys.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 26, 2020 at 7:28 pm

      I’m with you, but I thought you had given up?

      • Bancells Moustache

        September 26, 2020 at 8:18 pm

        Didn’t give up. I just said the playoffs were fools gold. Incremental improvement. Up to 4th this year, an increased winning percentage and a run at 3rd next year.

        • Orial

          September 27, 2020 at 8:22 am

          And one loss clinches another spot. Oops not suppose to say that.

  2. Bhoffman1

    September 26, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    Here we go again Davis back in 2021. Nothing changes . Nice to hear that Diaz hit a lot of homers and played great defense. Let’s all root for Trey. Maybe we will see Baumann next year too

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 26, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    “Elias said that he expects that the Orioles will continue to hold on to Chris Davis, who ends the season on the injured list with a knee injury. Davis, who will have two years left on his large seven-year, contract, hit just .115 in 16 games.”

    I don’t know about everyone else, but this doesn’t surprise me in the least. That being said, if Chris Davis actually returns from Sarasota with the team next year, I’m not sure I could every really respect Mike Elias as the head and the leader of this organization.

    • Raymo

      September 26, 2020 at 8:00 pm

      From what I’ve read, when there’s a shortened season the team pays the player a prorated amount. So in 2020 the Orioles saved 63% of his salary. So I think they’ll keep him on the roster at least until they know if 2021 will be another partial season. It’s all about the Benjamins.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 26, 2020 at 9:17 pm

        You miss my point. No baseball man would want Chris Davis taking up a seat on their bench. Keeping him would be a sign that he’s under somebody’s thumb. He told us that he had autonomy in making baseball decisions. Do did the Angelos boys. If you’re a great GM, I believe you need to have some huevos.

      • Jersery O

        September 27, 2020 at 2:52 pm

        I agree with both of you. But you have to see if next season may be shortened. And if it is, there will be an extra couple of Active players on each team. And unless you expect the Orioles to be legitimate playoff contenders, there is no harm done with keeping Davis around. Put him on the DL like you would a Rule 5 guy who isn’t cutting it.

  4. CalsPals

    September 26, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    Adios Coach Flores…infield defense & baserunning very sub-par…go O’s…

    • Jersery O

      September 27, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      The defense, I think, is what it is. Not much Flores can do about that. The baserunning blunders, though, can be addressed.

  5. dlgruber1

    September 26, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Means has thrown 5 hitless innings vs Jays as of right now. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Hyde pulled him after 6.1 hitless and replaced him with Hess?

  6. NormOs

    September 26, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    It looks like most of the MLB umpires opted out of this season leaving the game with incompetance in that area. The O’s can’t catch a break, even “New York” can’t get it right. Davis……..Seriously? Well, it figures!

  7. dlgruber1

    September 27, 2020 at 1:59 am

    Looking at the standings, the O’s have a minuscule lead over the Tigers in winning percentage. If they both win or both lose tomorrow the Tigers would receive a higher pick in the draft even tho they’ve played 2 fewer games. That sucks.

  8. Orial

    September 27, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Two thing stood out– one: Diaz walking a lot. That’s excellent nees. And two: yes it’s Mr.. Davis AGAIN. Why the panic? I think we see a game plan by Mr. Elias and Co.—bring him back in 2021 and IL him for 120 of the 162 games. Hey it worked in 2020.

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