Austin Hays isn’t in the Orioles’ lineup for Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. It’s because of a tight left hamstring. It isn’t because Hays annoyed manager Brandon Hyde by bunting with a runner on and none out in the ninth inning of Sunday’s game with the Orioles trailing the Nationals by a run.
“I talked to him a few hours ago and he’s available off the bench,” Hyde said. “For precautionary reasons, we’re not going to start him tonight.
After Hays sacrificed, Freddy Galvis flied out to right. With first base open, the Orioles’ best hitter, Trey Mancini, was walked intentionally. Left-handed reliever Brad Hand faced switch-hitter Anthony Santander, who struck out to end the game. ‘
“The conversation happened right when he came into the dugout,” Hyde said. “I’ve followed up since then [with coach Fredi González]. We wanted him to understand we wanted him to swing the bat in that situation.
“Let me dictate when you’re going to bunt, when you’re not going to bunt. In that situation, runner on first base, I don’t believe in sac bunting a good hitter in that spot. I don’t give an out away there. I want Austin to swing the bat. He understand, and, hopefully, you want see that going forward.”
Hunter Harvey update: Relief pitcher Hunter Harvey, who’s on the 60-day injured because of a left oblique injury, allowed two runs on three hits in two innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday. Harvey struck out two.
“He threw the ball well yesterday, and felt good after his outing,” Hyde said.
Hyde isn’t sure when Harvey will pitch again.
Farewell, Rio Ruiz: Rio Ruiz, who was designated for assignment on May 25th when Stevie Wilkerson’s contract was purchased from Norfolk, was claimed on waivers by Colorado.
Ruiz ends his Orioles career with a .220 batting average, 24 homers and 84 RBIs in 213 games in the last three seasons.
Hello, Brandon Waddell: Left-hander Brandon Waddell joined the Orioles for Sunday’s game in Washington, but he didn’t pitch. Waddell, who was claimed on waivers by the Orioles from the Twins on May 8th, was 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA in four games this season with Minnesota.
Waddell, who pitched two games for Pittsburgh in 2020, is still getting familiar with the Orioles.
“It’s interesting. Baseball’s such a small world,” Waddell said. “Typically, you know somebody just about everywhere. Oddly, it was the same with the Twins. When I was claimed by the Twins, I didn’t know anyone there. It’s sort of fun to be able to meet all the new guys, meet a bunch of new people. It’s been exciting.”
A Capitals idea: For Sunday night’s flight from Washington to Minneapolis, the Orioles wore hockey jerseys. When Hyde was a Chicago Cubs coach, he saw manager Joe Maddon improve club morale by having the team dress up.
“It was planned,” Hyde said. “It was something I talked to the veteran guys about, any ideas they have from a road trip standpoint, doing things that are fun that guys enjoy, I’m all for. This is an idea they had a handful of days ago, and guys seemed to like it. It’s always nicer to get on a plane after a win … Anything you can do with your club to keep the atmosphere good … when you’re traveling and times are tough, you want to stay positive. Guys seemed to like the hockey jerseys.”
Some players wore jerseys of their favorite teams. Mancini had a New York Islanders jersey. Michigan native Paul Fry wore one representing the Detroit Red Wings. One member of the traveling party wore a Western Hockey League Spokane Chiefs’ jersey.
Hyde wore a Washington Capitals jersey.
His Alex Ovechkin jersey wasn’t terribly lucky. The Capitals were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs around the time the plane landed in Minnesota.
Minor Matters: Delmarva infielder Jordan Westburg was named the Low-A East Player of the Week for May 18-23.
It’s the second straight week a Shorebirds infielder has won the award. Gunnar Henderson captured it the week before. Westburg, who was the 30th overall pick in the 2020 draft, hit .529 (10-for-19) with a homer and five RBIs.
Aberdeen right-hander Grayson Rodriguez was named High-A East Pitcher of the Week. Rodriguez allowed a run on a hit in six innings, striking out eight in his start.