Orioles' Hyde thinks there's room for Franco and Ruiz; Davis to 60-day injured list? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Orioles’ Hyde thinks there’s room for Franco and Ruiz; Davis to 60-day injured list?

After playing in his first game for the Orioles on Sunday, third baseman Maikel Franco isn’t in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rio Ruiz is playing third base.

When the Orioles were closing in on Franco last week, there was speculation that he would replace Ruiz on the 40-man roster. Ruiz has played the position adequately for the Orioles the past two seasons. The Orioles made room for Franco by placing right-hander Hunter Harvey on the 60-day injured list because a strained left oblique.

Over the winter, the Orioles moved on from Hanser Alberto at second base and José Iglesias at shortstop. The Alberto move was telegraphed when Yolmer Sánchez was claimed on waivers from the Chicago White Sox, and Iglesias’ relatively high salary ($3.5 million) and his 2020 series of injuries made him expendable.

Alberto has had to settle for a minor league contract, reported at $1.65 million with a $350,000 in incentives and bonuses, with the Kansas City Royals. In his first nine games with Kansas City, Alberto is batting .421 (8-for-19).

If the Orioles replaced Alberto and Igelsias, many expected them to try to improve at third base, too. Franco, who played all 60 games for Kansas City in 2020, was available and his price, $800,000 with $200,000 in bonuses plus a payment if he’s traded, was the right price.

But it created a logjam at third because few teams platoon third basemen. Ruiz, who’s a left-handed hitter, hits better against left-handers (.280) than right-handers (.208.). Franco, who’s a right-handed hitter, hits better against right-handers (.256) than left-handers (.238).

In his seven major league seasons, Franco has started at first base eight times, and played nowhere else. Ruiz has five starts at first, two innings at second, and an inning in left field.

“Being in the American League, you have the DH possibility,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We have Trey [Mancini] at first base [who] didn’t play at all last year. Both those guys have a little bit of first base experience, also, so there’s some depth there.

“I’m going to be talking to Trey every single day to see how he feels. Adding another corner guy that can play first base, I can see the times when all three of those guys can be in the lineup at the same time, utilizing the DH.”


It doesn’t look as if it’s a long-term arrangement, particularly if the Orioles go with a 14-man pitching staff and a three-man bench. Even with a four-player bench, it could be a stretch.

On Sunday, Hyde gave Sánchez, who’s won the Gold Glove at second in 2019, the start at shortstop. In his seven-season career, Sánchez has 10 games at shortstop.

Pat Valaika, who’s thought to be the leader in the utility sweepstakes, plays all over the infield, but came up as a shortstop and played there last year at times when Iglesias was hurt.

Ramón Urias could be a second utility player if the Orioles go with a four-man bench and outfielder DJ Stewart begins the season on the 10-day injured list because of a hamstring injury. Stevie Wilkerson, another utility man candidate, would have to be added to the 40-man roster.

As Hyde says, Franco or Ruiz could be the designated hitter. It’s also possible the Orioles will try to make a deal for Ruiz once they’re confident Franco is in shape to start the season.

Davis out? Chris Davis hasn’t played since the team’s first spring game on February 28th because of a back injury and doesn’t appear to be close to returning.

With the Orioles likely to need additional roster spots on the 40-man roster, Hyde said it was a possibility that Davis will begin the season on the 60-day injured list.  

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. dlgruber1

    March 22, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Is 60 day the max IL? There’s not something like, say, a 2 year IL?

    • Bhoffman1

      March 22, 2021 at 8:35 pm

      Every time Davis swings a bat or just breathes a injury is likely to happen . So every 60 days he can be dL for the next two years. The really sad part is that the organization wants the fabs to believe they are real injuries

    • Bhoffman1

      March 22, 2021 at 8:35 pm


  2. BarstoolSleeper

    March 22, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    I don’t like the idea of having two mediocre 3rd basemen. It’s nice in the spring to try to create some competition but keeping both on the team for the season makes no sense to me. Together they have 13 games at 1b. And anyone can be a DH for a game here and there. I see no need to keep Rio because he played 5 games at 1b and can DH once in a while.
    With the outfield logjam, you can play Mountcastle at 1b if Trey needs a day off.
    Having said all of that, I believe Hyde has no say with the makeup of this roster. So he’s saying all the “right things” during spring.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      March 22, 2021 at 2:35 pm

      Dude … mediocre? You call these guys mediocre? These guys are simply fighting to stay in the league.

      What has Mike Elias done to our fanbase? Talk about needing to raise the bar in expectations!

    • BarstoolSleeper

      March 22, 2021 at 3:26 pm

      Ha! After the last 3 seasons, the expectations can not get any lower!

  3. willmiranda

    March 22, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Irrelevant aside: I googled Jose Iglesias, and up popped “Jose Iglesias Sold Direct on eBay.”

    • Icterus fan

      March 22, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      Maybe CD twists his ankle in the parking lot or has some other amorphous “injury” to keep him atrophied on the bench.
      Mediocre or not, isn’t it time to let the Rio flow away from Bmore and see what Franco can do? They ain’t no DeCinces down there…..

  4. Birdman

    March 22, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    As the great Severino/Sisco debate rages, we note a late surge by Severino who has his spring training BA up to .125, and is rapidly gaining on Sisco, whose average has plummeted to .136

    • BrooksPJs

      March 22, 2021 at 5:22 pm

      Severino has 2 doubles, 1 homer, 3 RBI, and OPS of 1.100 is his last three games though his defense has been pretty bad over the same stretch.

    • CalsPals

      March 22, 2021 at 5:51 pm

      My first question would be who the hits were off of, major leaguers, or “others”…go O’s…

      • BrooksPJs

        March 22, 2021 at 6:34 pm

        Maybe look it up CP, it’s not too difficult and only takes a few minutes!

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          March 22, 2021 at 7:26 pm

          Be nice BPJS

    • CalsPals

      March 22, 2021 at 8:10 pm

      Honestly I asked the question, you’re the numbers guy, even gave you accolades for it…go O’s…

  5. B.C. Bird

    March 22, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Cant take too much more of Hyde’s analysis of games. Our defense has been brilliant for the most part, wait what!!!!! We’ve had lapses of concentration for sure but I’m happy for the most part. Severino has to go, what a dud. Pittsburgh are not the Yankees and yet our pitching constantly lets us down, I know its only spring training but I think it is a precursor of what is coming, yup another dismal season
    Keep the faith

  6. BrooksPJs

    March 22, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    What’s your definition of a MLB dud? Is it based on MLB career stats? Or current spring training stats? Just curious…

    • B.C. Bird

      March 22, 2021 at 7:55 pm

      Possibly a dud is too strong a criticism, but his stats for last year plus spring training this year leave a lot to be desired. His fielding is possibly worse than his bat
      Keep the faith

    • CalsPals

      March 22, 2021 at 8:34 pm

      In my opinion severino is the #3 receiver on the O’s…playem if ya gottem…go O’s…

  7. 33d St

    March 22, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Poor Hyde. Guess he’s gotta say something. No way on earth either of those clowns DHs. We have plenty of outfielders who can at least hit the ball. One of them has to be the DH.

    Honestly they could just cut Rio *and* New Guy and go with a Valaika / Urias / Wilkerson combo at 3b/util. That would give the most roster flexibility.

  8. Bman

    March 22, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    Whatever comes out of spring training, it will just be a few month arrangement. Franco, galvis, Sanchez are very short term stopgaps and potential deadline trade chips. Ruiz hitting .225 won’t make it the year either. Severino maybe gone. One of the outfielders traded too. Heck even Mancini may be moved for the right price. We’ll be looking at a much different and even younger team come august and September.

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