BALTIMORE—Manager Brandon Hyde stood in front of the Orioles’ dugout for his pregame media session on Tuesday, and that was news. Hyde was able to meet face-to-face with the fully vaccinated members of the media for the first time since March 11, 2020, the day before spring training ended.
“This feels back to normal now,” Hyde said. “It’s been strange having everything, for you, too, through the screen, not being able to have the personal relationships, not being able to have the personal contact has been extremely unusual. Looking forward to seeing everybody again and talking baseball.”
The Orioles surpassed the 85 percent vaccination rate on May 12th and have been able to move more freely and not wear masks in the dugout.
“Every day, you feel like it’s getting closer to back to normal,” Hyde said. “We still have a lot of the processes that are in place. We still have a lot of protocols, from how we enter the ballpark, what time we get to ballparks. We’re wearing masks in the dugout still. But this is still is starting to feel, out there, more and more [normal] every day.
“The fans have a big part of that … seeing fans in the stands, It’s been a lot more fun.”
Off the field, Hyde can play golf on his offdays and go to restaurants.
“Last year, I didn’t go anywhere,” Hyde said. “I was in my hotel room the whole time. I’d go to the ballpark and back. To be able to have a life, off the field is important for everybody’s general wellness. To be able to do that again, it’s huge when it comes to being able to get away from the game.”
Zoom sessions will continue postgame, and before day games and on the road.
Sceroler back: After nearly two months on the 10-day injured list because of tendinitis in his right shoulder, right-hander Mac Sceroler was activated on Tuesday.
Sceroler, a Rule 5 draft choice, pitched in two games before he was put on the injured list on April 12th. He allowed three runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings for a 7.36 ERA.
“We were building him back so that he was able to come here and give us multiple innings in the ‘pen,” Hyde said. “Be a long guy out of the ‘pen.”
In two rehab appearances at Triple-A Norfolk, Sceroler allowed eight runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
While Sceroler was on the injured list, the other Rule 5 pick, Tyler Wells, has gotten an extended look. He’s 1-0 with a 4.62 ERA.
“I think Tyler has the ability to be a starter or a reliever,” Hyde said. “At times he flashes a good starter. His changeup the last couple of outings has been great.”
Infielder Pat Valaika has been reinstated from the bereavement list and Ramón Urias has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. In his last at-bat on Sunday, Urias homered and drove in the Orioles’ 18th run.
Minor Matters: Outfielder Austin Hays, who’s on the 10-day injured list because of a left hamstring strain, is beginning a rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk. The Tides are at Jacksonville to play the Jumbo Shrimp. … Infielder Jahmai Jones, who’s had an oblique injury, has rejoined Jacksonville after a rehab stint at High-A Aberdeen.