What’s happening? –Thomas Eshelman will start the Grapefruit League opener for the Orioles against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida.
Manager Brandon Hyde said that Matt Harvey and Félix Hernández will pitch next week. They’ll throw batting practice in the next few days.
“They’re on track to have a full spring,” Hyde said.
Yolmer Sánchez, who was claimed on waivers by the Orioles from the Chicago White Sox and is likely to start at second base on Opening Day, doesn’t view his new team as one that is rebuilding.
“For the players, you don’t think in that way,” Sánchez said. “You don’t think, ‘we’re a rebuilding team.’ As a player you go out every day and do your best and try to win every game … you don’t think, ‘we’re a rebuilding team, maybe we’re going to lose today.’”
With the White Sox, Sánchez played for Rick Renteria, who called him one of his favorite players. Hyde coached for Renteria with the Cubs in 2014.
“That says a lot coming from Rick, how much respect I have for him, and how long he’s been in the game,” Hyde said. “I can see why. Yolmer’s high energy on the field, and he’s funny. He’s going to make the routine play. He’s always going to be engaged defensively. He’s a great guy to be around, and he’s fun. I can see why Ricky said that about him.”
What’s happened?— Hyde said that following the Covid-19 protocols in 2021 should be easier since the Orioles followed the rules in 2020.
“Last summer was a trail run for this spring training,” he said. “It’s pretty much the same protocols. We’re staying apart. We’re wearing masks on the field.
“We’re wearing masks inside. We’ve had to change our daily schedule and not have too many people at one time. We can’t meet in the clubhouse, all the things that we were doing last summer have carried over to this spring. It’s nothing new, what we’re doing right now because we did do it before. That being said, it doesn’t make it easy, or that we’re enjoying it. We’re looking forward to the day when it is back to normal.”
Hyde said that Rule 5 pitchers Mac Sceroler and Tyler Wells threw well in live batting practice.
“I think there’s going to be some tough decisions down the stretch, and that’s what we’re looking for,” Hyde said.
The Orioles are likely to play some ‘B’ and intrasquad games in the mornings next week.
Former Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph has signed a split major league/minor league contract with the New York Mets.
What’s up with? Ashton Goudeau was claimed on waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the 6-foot-6 right-hander is being considered as a starter, Hyde said.
Goudeau, 28, pitched four games in relief for the Colorado Rockies in 2020. In 2019, he was a starter for Double-A Hartford.
“We’re going to stretch him out,” Hyde said. “We’re going to take a long look at him. He threw two innings … live BP [Thursday], start of a progression to get him more innings to lengthen him out a little bit. We’re going to take a look at him as a starter. We like his arm. We like his size. He threw really well today. He’s going to be part of getting bulk innings here in camp.”
What’s what? Sánchez is from Venezuela and is concerned about its political situation.
“You don’t want to see your country in a bad situation,” he said. “I have my whole family over there, my brothers and my dad and my mom. I have a couple of cousins who left the country, but pretty much my whole family is in Venezuela.
“Sometimes, you don’t try to think about it, but your family … you’re always going to try to help them. Sometimes, it’s hard.”
What’s the word? “Player-to-player coaching sometimes is the best of any because it can really hit home when one of your peers is giving you tips or just talking through situations.”-Hyde on infielders Freddy Galvis and Yolmer Sánchez making suggestions to their teammates.
What’s the number? 10. Sánchez was tied for the American League lead with 10 triples in 2018. Sánchez also had 34 doubles and 55 RBIs.
“I can do better than that,” Sánchez said.
Mike Devereaux holds the Orioles’ record for most triples in a season with 11 in 1992.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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