Hyde says Orioles soon will meet 85 percent vaccination rate; Roberson new voice; No decision on Saturday starter - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Hyde says Orioles soon will meet 85 percent vaccination rate; Roberson new voice; No decision on Saturday starter

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles soon will have 85 percent of their players and staff vaccinated for Covid-19, manager Brandon Hyde said Friday.

Major League Baseball will allow teams that meet the 85 percent rate to no longer wear masks in dugouts or bullpens or wear contact tracing devices in team facilities.

They also can dine at indoor and outdoor restaurants, eat and drink freely during team travel.

“We’re doing well. We’re going to be over that,” Hyde said. “We’re going to hit that threshold. Now, it’s going to be the time it takes from when everyone would become cleared. It’s a big deal, a big deal for us.”

Teams also can play video games and use pool and ping-pong tables. They also can use saunas and steam rooms.

“It feels good as a team, as an organization, to know that a majority of our guys are vaccinated,” Hyde said. “We can start to go back to a little bit of normalcy from how it’s been the past couple of years. The organization has been ahead of this from the beginning, of encouraging people to be vaccinated. The majority of our players and staff followed suit, and it’s a good feeling to know that most people will be vaccinated.”

Fans attending games can get free testing for Covid-19. Free testing is available at Section 26 of the lower concourse from one hour before game time, when the gates open until 2 ½ hours after the first pitch or the top of the eighth inning, whichever comes first.

Test results will be reported by call, text or email between 24 and 48 hours after the test. Testing is voluntary and not required for admission.

New Oriole Park voice: Adrienne Roberson has been named as the new public address announcer for Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Roberson succeeds Ryan Wagner, who held the post from 2012-2020 but was dismissed before the team’s home opener on April 8th.


For the last 17 seasons, Roberson had been the voice of the Bowie Baysox, and occasionally filled in for Wagner. She was at the microphone for the season’s first homestand.

Roberson is the major league’s fourth female public address announcer, and the first for the Orioles.

In addition to the Orioles, Roberson has worked at Georgetown University for the past eight years, announcing for a number of sports. She also works for Sirius/XM radio as a board operator and for Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn as their attendance coordinator.

Saturday starter undecided: Hyde has decided that John Means, will start on Sunday instead of Saturday.

“We’re just going to give John an extra day,” Hyde said. “We’re going to need a spot starter anyways. We’re going to allow John to have that extra day and throw him on Sunday.

“Tomorrow, it’s either going to be a bullpen-type game, somebody from here or potentially somebody from the secondary site [Bowie]. We’ll play tonight or make a decision after the game.”

If a pitcher from the current roster is selected, it could be Wade LeBlanc or Adam Plutko.

No pressure for Valdez: César Valdez has waited many years for major league success, and he’s enjoying it.

“No, I don’t feel any pressure,” the 36-year-old right-hander said through a translator. “I think with my age, with my experience, I’ve been through so many different scenarios. I’m trying to go out there and compete. I’m trying to have fun and enjoy the moment.”

Valdez is 1-0 with an 0.96 ERA and four saves in five chances.

“I’m trying to embrace it and take advantage of the opportunity, just grateful for the opportunity, and I’m looking forward to going out there,” he said. “Every time they give me the ball, I’m trying to do my job the best that I can.”

It has been difficult for hitters to time Valdez’s offspeed pitches.

“I think the changeup is going to be hard to hit, no matter what,” Hyde said. “In the bullpen, you always want to give different looks, whether it’s arm angle from both sides, right, left. You want not to have guys that all have the same stuff.”

The Orioles have power pitcher Tanner Scott as a setup man.

“I think that works out well where Tanner shows you a unique look that high-90s, left-handed fastball, the sharp slider, and then Valdez with the unique stuff that he has and how he’s able to pitch,” Hyde said. “When you put together your bullpen, that’s what you’re looking for is guys that can give different looks to opposing hitters at the end of the game.”

Notes: Pitching coach Chris Holt is away from the team this weekend because of a personal matter. Assistant pitching coach Darren Holmes will fill in.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Phil770

    April 23, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    Means moved back a day? So the 5th starter that the O’s knew that they wouldn’t need when they sent out Kremer seems a bit disingenuous now. No wonder that fans on this site are so skeptical (and cynical?) about so called explanations from Hyde about player moves and non-moves.

    • CalsPals

      April 23, 2021 at 6:45 pm

      :)….go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      April 23, 2021 at 7:14 pm

      Probably just wanted give Means an extra day off. They would have needed a 5th starter on the 27th and Kremer couldn’t be recalled until the 28th. After last year, they are trying to monitor the pitchers innings. No need to overextend them in April

    • CalsPals

      April 23, 2021 at 7:41 pm

      Then they could’ve just said that, but the didn’t…Lopez looking normal, couldn’t even make it one time through the line up without giving up runs, two walks score…good lord…go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      April 23, 2021 at 7:45 pm

      They probably told Means and Kremer. That’s the important people. Last year pitchers only had to cover about 540 innings. This year about 1458 innings. Don’t want to blow out the young arms too early in the year

    • CalsPals

      April 23, 2021 at 8:04 pm

      Gotta love the transparency…listening to Mikey puts me to sleep, think I liked it better with McDonald as an announcer…go O’s…

  2. CalsPals

    April 23, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    Can’t believe Mullins didn’t get credited with a double, watch him out of the box, no hesitation around 1st BEFORE the ball even got to the outfield…mentioned the other day trading severino for a scorekeeper, they should’ve done it…lol…go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      April 23, 2021 at 9:01 pm

      Mullins did get credit for a double to lead off the game

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 23, 2021 at 9:01 pm

      He was credited with a double, Ray.

    • CalsPals

      April 23, 2021 at 9:20 pm

      I thought he was, why did Palmer keep saying it was a single, Laureno struggling in center with errors…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      April 23, 2021 at 9:22 pm

      Someone literally must’ve just told him, leading off the 2nd he said it was a double, twice earlier, a single…oh well…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      April 23, 2021 at 9:23 pm

      7th….go O’s…

  3. CalsPals

    April 23, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Another quality start for Lopez, 4 innings 3 runs, fugly….go O’s…

    • dlgruber1

      April 23, 2021 at 8:35 pm

      I know 3 runs in 4 innings is certainly not great, or even good, but I’m wondering what’s happened to the offense. They were very competitive offensively in most games last season but now, they’re coming off being shut out 2 of the last 3 games and working on it again tonite. The offense has been terrible most of this season so far. Lastly, they really, really need to start learning how to win some home games. Frustrating as hell.

    • CalsPals

      April 23, 2021 at 8:38 pm

      dl, agree, it’s weird, you’d think they’d play better at home, but they don’t, Galvis is one of their hottest hitters & he’s batting 8th, then there’s Severino, yikes…go O’s…

    • Icterus fan

      April 23, 2021 at 9:22 pm

      It’s just because we as fans accept losing season after season.

  4. Phil770

    April 24, 2021 at 9:15 am

    CP, I know you want Severino gone, the problem is the Os do not have anyone that is better right now. I think their ideal scenario is for Severino to hit and catch well enough to trade and AR to tear it up at Bowie and Norfolk in May and June to be here in July. Sisco, Wynns are not everyday MLB catchers. Maybe Severino isn’t either, but he is better than the others

    • CalsPals

      April 24, 2021 at 9:23 am

      Phill, agree with you Severino/Sisco both have issues, pitchers seem to respond better to Sisco, just an eye test, I’d give Wynns a shot, not sure any of them are everyday catchers, the position is just so important on the field & we basically suck back there…oh well, May 4th maybe we can start watching better baseball…go O’s…

  5. Phil770

    April 24, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Fair points, CP. My eye test has Severino the better of the two. Fortunately, neither is the long-term answer. Severino has hit well, early in the season since with the O’s, which is why he may play more now. Sisco is going to have to hit well when he gets his chance. Could be that the pitchers, privately, say they prefer Severino to pitch to. I think he frames pitches far better than Sisco… but as you say, just my eye test. It would be nice that either plays well enough that he can be traded. i doubt either could clear waivers.

    • CalsPals

      April 24, 2021 at 12:36 pm

      Fair points your way as well, Severino seems to hit ok when it doesn’t matter, had his 2nd RBI for the season last night, again any improvement at catcher would be great…go O’s…

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