Orioles' Hyde is eager to see his new infielders, says Mancini looks 'really good' - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Orioles’ Hyde is eager to see his new infielders, says Mancini looks ‘really good’

What’s happening? – The Orioles have yet to see pitcher Matt Harvey on the field. Harvey’s minor league contract became official on Wednesday. On Thursday, manager Brandon Hyde said he isn’t sure what role will fit Harvey best.

“We’re going to see what we have, and see how he looks and keep our options open with him, whether it’s rotation, bullpen,” Hyde said. “Nothing’s set in stone, just going to give him an opportunity to make the team.”

Hyde is also eager to see his new double play combination. Freddy Galvis was signed as a free agent to play shortstop and Yolmer Sánchez, who was claimed on waivers from the Chicago White Sox, will play second base.

“I think we brought Freddy in here to be our shortstop,” Hyde said. “Yolmer’s got a lot of experience at second base and won a Gold Glove. We brought him in there to play a lot.” Hyde also wants to take a look at Jahmai Jones at second.

For now, it seems that Rio Ruiz will be the starting third baseman.

“Rio has been part of our infield the past couple of years, and I’m looking forward to him getting a lot of at-bats this season, also,” Hyde said.  “It’s safe to assume that the two guys we brought in, we’d like to see them play up the middle, and Rio’s going to get every opportunity to win the third base job again.”

Hyde saw Galvis early in his career with Philadelphia, and more recently saw him when he was with Toronto in 2019.

“Really solid, really steady,” Hyde said on a Zoom call. “He’s going to make the routine plays, he’s going to drive some balls out of the ballpark. He’s got some raw power — just a guy who’s played in the middle of the field in a lot of games in the big leagues and has up-the-middle experience.”

What’s happened?—Except for Harvey, each Oriole pitcher has thrown a bullpen session in the first two days of camp. Eighteen threw on Wednesday and the other 18 on Thursday.

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While position players aren’t scheduled to report until Sunday, Trey Mancini, DJ Stewart and Stevie Wilkerson were early arrivals.

Hyde has kept a close eye on Mancini, who is expected to play first base after missing last season because of colon cancer surgery.

“He looks really good,” Hyde said. “He feels good, driving the baseball on the field today. Took groundballs, did that yesterday and today. He feels fantastic.”

What’s up with? Jahmai Jones was acquired earlier this month from the Los Angeles Angels in the deal that sent starting pitcher Alex Cobb out west.

Hyde likes Jones’ versatility and said he will play second base and the outfield.

“I think we’re going to see him do a little bit of both,” Hyde said. “I’d like to see him a lot at second. I think that’s going to be the main focus, but we know he can play the outfield … I think his primary position in this camp will be second, but I think you will see him in the outfield as well.”

Hyde likes what he’s heard about Jones.

“Excited to have him,” Hyde said. “I talked to some Angels coaches, some of the guys I know over there, They raved about how athletic he is, how much better he got defensively, especially at second base last year, so excited to get him into camp. I’ve never seen him, so he’s going to be a fun guy to watch.” 

What’s what? Despite the sport’s obsession with velocity, the Orioles have been open to having pitchers who don’t throw 95 miles per hour.

Pitching coach Chris Holt likes what he saw from changeup artist César Valdez last year and wants to see more of knuckleballer Mickey Jannis. Holt also likes Fernando Abad, who’s in camp on a minor league deal.

“It is nice to have a couple of guys who have to pitch,” Holt said. “I’ve always found it a fun part of the game when guys can pitch and mess with hitter’s timings and do all the things that maybe we traditionally saw more of in the past, especially when I was growing up, watching the game.

“César Valdez, very solid mix with his changeup, can mess with hitter’s timing with command. Frankie Abad, too, another guy who’s going to pitch and change speeds, and then Jannis with his knuckleball, but has other pitches in his mix. We’re very excited to see them in camp.” 

What’s the word? “I don’t make that kind of money this year,” Felix Hernández when he was reminded by a questioner that he’s been well compensated in his career.

What’s the number? $1 million will be Hernández’s salary if he makes the Orioles.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Orial

    February 19, 2021 at 8:30 am

    I wish Hyde would/could say something funny sarcastic a la Buck or any of the bygone managers. Sure would spice things up. Holt stating that velocity is not a prerequisite for his pitchers. Hasn’t that lack of velocity(finesse pitching) been one of the flaws on these recent teams(last 10-15 years)? Bring on the flame.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 19, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Jahmai Jones ….let’s see what he’s got. If he works out to anything less than our starting 2nd baseman this year, it’ll be a bust of a trade in my opinion. OK … Let’s see what he’s got.

  3. CalsPals

    February 19, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Hernandez, STILL only making 1 million to play a game, also as a pitcher, maybe 30 starts, not 150…This is the problem w/baseball, greedy owners kept one upping each either, this is why baseball is out of hand…players shouldn’t be paid so that their WHOLE families are set for life, I’d love to see them hold down a real job…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 19, 2021 at 10:12 am

      Ray, as you know with your experience as a wrestling coach, how much time athletes have to put in to be successful.

      Only a small percentage of those drafted get to the big leagues and fewer still stay there long enough to be set for life.

      There are very few who make the money Hernandez or others do. Some make enough so that they don’t have to do anything else, but the large majority must work for the rest of their lives like anyone else.

      You shouldn’t begrudge those who make huge amounts of money for being good. If you see a minor league game, you’ll see that most of those there are struggling to make ends meet.

      • Hallbe62

        February 19, 2021 at 10:31 am

        Rich
        If they were paid a “Working Man’s” salary to PLAY a game that they’ve loved since childhood……they are still way ahead of the working stiff. Tough for me anyway, to have much empathy for most of these athletes who are charged with entertaining us common folk.

    • CalsPals

      February 19, 2021 at 10:35 am

      :)…go O’s…

    • willmiranda

      February 19, 2021 at 10:48 am

      On the one hand, I agree that it seems athletes receive an obscene amount of money. On the other, the money is there, and I prefer to see the people working on the job get the money rather than the suits, the paper pushers, and the mouths. Reducing player salaries will not reduce the cost to fans of attending games or watching them “on their favorite electrical device.” As long as people want to spend more of their money on circuses than bread, the gladiators will get, and deserve, their cut.

  4. OriolesNumber1Fan

    February 19, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Only making 1 million to play baseball!!! Greedy players with their guaranteed contracts is what ruined baseball. All this started from Marvin Miller and free agency. Players greed and making owners bid against themselves and other owners is what ruined baseball. All other major sports leagues have a salary cap and strict rules when you go over except for baseball. Luxury tax of 210 is more than any other sport including football who has 53 players on their respective team rosters. And very few teams get to this penalty. I say make them all free agents every year so they play for their contracts every year. That would fix them. Pay them well when they do well after the year is over and pay them poorly when they don’t. Sort of like they do for arbitration eligible players with the three man panel to decide. If teams want to offer a player another arbitration year even after 6 years it’s up to them to decide.

    • CalsPals

      February 20, 2021 at 3:29 am

      Don’t agree with you too often numero uno, but you get my backing on this, any change would be for the better…what we have now is a multi-tiered, haves/have nots scenario, I know, teams can pay what they want when they want, I like the pressure of paid what your performance dictates, MLB is really turning into a joke, rich owners, rich players, Jesus, the avg salary is more than 1 mil now…c’mon man…go O’s…

    • VICTORTEE

      February 20, 2021 at 8:09 am

      Do you think ticket prices would go down if players made less? The answer is NO!!!!!
      I am glad you are rooting for the billionaires over the millionaires.
      You are not just a little bit jealous of the players , are you?

    • CalsPals

      February 20, 2021 at 8:23 am

      Jealous, no, I like seeing appropriately paid people, seriously, 34 million or 10 million, do they really need the extra to live…c’mon man…go O’s…

  5. BarstoolSleeper

    February 19, 2021 at 10:18 am

    I know it’s been said time and time again by others on this site but I’m really happy to hear Trey Mancini has not only beat the cancer that plagued him but that he’s been able to recover and get back to baseball shape. It speaks to his tenacity and self discipline and the Orioles will be better for it. Congratulations again Trey and we’re rooting for ya.
    Really curious and eager to see how the infield shakes out this year.

  6. NormOs

    February 19, 2021 at 11:20 am

    Golly, gee whilikers, Hyde is really “Excited” about having these infielders! Sometimes you have to wonder how Genius1 pulls off these “Magnificent” deals. With an infield (except for Mancini) that is made up of Non-Major League Players, (players that no one else wanted) I will definitely say……110+ losses in 2021. It truly seems that “The Powers That Be” don’t give a DAMN.

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 19, 2021 at 11:21 am

    BTW … what is with Elias and his man crush with Rio Ruiz?

    MLB lists Rylan Bannon at second base, but doesn’t he have some time at 3rd as well? And Tyler Nevin … listed at 1B…didn’t I read he could play 3rd?

    Please Mikey … give it up on Ruiz. Anybody but Rio. He is what he is …. a .220 hitter with a bit of punch, but not nearly as slick with the glove as we were led to believe.

    • CalsPals

      February 19, 2021 at 11:43 am

      Blame it on Rio II…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        February 19, 2021 at 12:16 pm

        In a long list of really, really bad movies in which Michael Caine starred… “Blame It On Rio” HAS to be THE worst films of his career. This is the type of cinema that Leonard Pinth Garnell would have featured. Truly atrocious theatre.

    • CalsPals

      February 19, 2021 at 12:28 pm

      LOL…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      February 19, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      See a relationship there then do ya…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        February 19, 2021 at 2:50 pm

        Well … Rio Ruiz isn’t nearly as bad as that movie was.

  8. WorldlyView

    February 19, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    Rich, I can’t take it anymore. Please shorten your relays of these gushing outpourings by Hyde of unadulterated excitement, happiness, and positivity. But definitely do let us know if he is ever overcome with raw realism and directs a critical, disappointed, or sarcastic comment toward any perceived O’s weakness or shortcoming. I get dizzy when I ponder what his assessments would sound like if he was at the helm of a pennant contending team overflowing with talent.
    Also, you quote Holt as saying “It is nice to have a couple of guys who have to pitch.” Does that mean the other pitchers DON’T have to pitch?

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 19, 2021 at 3:50 pm

      Steve, thanks for catching my typo, which I have fixed. “It is nice to have a couple of guys who know how to pitch” is the correct quote. I appreciate careful reading.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        February 19, 2021 at 4:49 pm

        By “have to pitch” … I though you were referring to guys without the hard stuff that relied on guile and off speed stuff…made sense to me at the time.

        Carry on Rich!

        • WorldlyView

          February 19, 2021 at 7:16 pm

          uh-uh. That would have meant that the other 35 pitchers in camp have blazing fastballs.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            February 19, 2021 at 8:00 pm

            Point taken.

    • CalsPals

      February 19, 2021 at 5:40 pm

      Crazy one, totally agree, I thought they meant they couldn’t blow it by guys anymore so they had to learn to pitch…go O’s…

  9. millboy

    February 20, 2021 at 7:39 am

    Always look forward to and enjoy the articles every day Rich…Just wondering…Are the rest of you guys all wearing your “Get off my lawn” tee shirts today? It’s spring training

    • CalsPals

      February 20, 2021 at 7:42 am

      No, mine says “Intense, Legal, Pain”…go O’s…

      • WorldlyView

        February 20, 2021 at 4:42 pm

        My tee shirt reads: “Patience. Do NOT Question the Rebuild.” They’re available in all fine stores.

    • CalsPals

      February 20, 2021 at 5:13 pm

      Mine exists anyplace that sells Iowa Wrestling t-shirts, or google it…not a pipe dream like WV…lol..go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      February 20, 2021 at 5:27 pm

      Worldly may have a great idea, if Mikey thought they’d sell think how many more FA pitchers he could sign…thx WV…go O’s…

  10. WorldlyView

    February 20, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    Not so fast. I have copyrighted this phraseology. All profits are going to my retirement fund. You can see the two styles of these shirts on Amazon. One is black with orange lettering. The other, slightly cheaper, is white with Yankee-blue lettering and pinstripes. Supplies are limited.

    • CalsPals

      February 21, 2021 at 7:23 am

      Awesome:)…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      February 21, 2021 at 10:21 am

      Of course it needs to go toward retirement, we were never grossly overpaid for playing a game…go O’s…

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