Hyde hopes Hays is back by Sunday, believes Oriole offense will break out; Kremer gets Saturday start - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Hyde hopes Hays is back by Sunday, believes Oriole offense will break out; Kremer gets Saturday start

Manager Brandon Hyde hopes that outfielder Austin Hays, who has been on the 10-day injured list because of a strained right hamstring since April 5th, can return to the team on Sunday in its final game of the three-game weekend series in Texas or on Tuesday in Miami.

Hyde said that Hays has played in a game at the alternate training site in Bowie on Friday and will play another one on Saturday.

“We’ll see how he recovers,” Hyde said.

“Austin is a good player. He was playing really well [when he was hurt] in Boston. We’re looking forward to getting him back and playing. He adds a lot. He adds speed. He adds outfield defense. He adds the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark. The guy can really turn on a fastball. He has to keep healthy, and he’ll be a contributor for us.”

Hyde believes the Orioles’ offense will show up soon, too. After 13 games, they have a .218 batting average, a .288 on-base percentage and a .641 OPS.

“I believe in our offense,” Hyde said. “I think if you look at our numbers, six months from now, they’re not going to look like that.

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“We have some good hitters on this team. I think we’ve gotten off to a slow start offensively. First three series, I thought we faced really, really good pitching.

“I do buy into ‘hitting is contagious.’ There is momentum in hitting. When you create traffic on the bases, you’re creating longer pitch counts for pitchers. It does make it easier for everyone else. It’s a little bit of a team rut offensively. I feel like if we get a couple of guys going, then we’re going to be in good shape.”

Hyde thinks that first baseman Trey Mancini, designated hitter/outfielder Ryan Mountcastle and rightfielder Anthony Santander are going to get hot.

“I believe in these guys offensively,” he said. “I think they’re going to produce a lot of runs for us this year.”

Saturday start: Hyde said that right-hander Dean Kremer, who threw only 54 pitches in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader with Seattle, will start on Saturday night.

“I feel confident that he’s going to be fine for that,” Hyde said. “He wants to pitch. Fifty-four pitches is almost like an extended bullpen. He’s plenty rested, and he’s ready to go.

Severino on offense: Catcher Pedro Severino is batting .250 (8-for-32) with a home run and an RBI. He is batting eighth against the Texas Rangers in Friday’s opener of a three-game series.

“It’s only [13] games, so it’s early,” Severino said. “We work every single day to try to get better. The pitchers are doing a great job, trying to hold the game. Offense right now is just a little off, but I know that it’s gong to be coming because we have very good hitters on the team. We need to help the pitchers to win.”

Welcome to Globe Life Field: Because of the pandemic, the Orioles didn’t play in the Rangers’ new ballpark last season, its first. The Orioles haven’t played in baseball’s three newest parks  in their inaugural seasons– Miami’s Lone Depot Park, opened in 2012; Atlanta’s Truist Park, opened in 2017; and Texas. The last time the Orioles played in a major league ballpark’s first year was 2010, the year that Minneapolis’ Target Field opened.

The Orioles have yet to play in St. Louis’ Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006. They were supposed to play there for the first time early last season, but the pandemic changed that.

Taxi squad: The five-man taxi squad for the Texas series are right-handed pitchers Isaac Mattson and Cole Sulser, catcher Austin Wynns, infielder Richie Martin and outfielder Yusniel Diaz.

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