Leyba trying to make most of opportunity with Orioles; Richie Martin update; Franco, Santander sit - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Leyba trying to make most of opportunity with Orioles; Richie Martin update; Franco, Santander sit

Domingo Leyba, whom the Orioles acquired on waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 4th, is still looking for his first major league hit of 2021.

Leyba, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday, played second base and was hitless in four at-bats. While with the Diamondbacks, Leyba was 0-for-22.

“[I’m] really trying not to put a lot of pressure. [I’m] just trying to get a good at-bat, make contact on it,” Leyba said through a translator. “Hopefully, the process will lead to better results on the field.”

Leyba, who hit .280 in 21 games with Arizona in 2019, has hit well in Triple-A. In 16 games at Triple-A Reno this year, Leyba hit .457 (16-for-35) with four home runs and 14 RBIs in eight games. At Norfolk, Leyba was hitting .279 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 15 games.

“This is a huge opportunity that’s been presented to me,” Leyba said. “I’ve been through a lot, so now’s the time to put that hard work to work … I do believe this is a new beginning. Hopefully, good things come along.”

Manager Brandon Hyde said that he talks with his new players about the chance to earn a job in the major leagues by playing well.

“That definitely comes up in the conversation,” Hyde said. “This is a rare opportunity. You play well here right now, you’re going to play. You pitch well, you’re going to pitch. It’s not like that everywhere. It’s been like that for a few years.

“I think guys are very aware that this is a unique opportunity to be a major league player right now.”

Leyba is playing third base and batting seventh in Monday night’s game against the Astros.


Martin progressing: Richie Martin, who underwent surgery in mid-May to repair a broken left wrist, is on the 60-day injured list. Had he been healthy, Martin would have been an easy call to replace the injured Freddy Galvis, who will be out a month or two because of a right quadriceps injury.

“He is starting his hitting progression early-to-mid-July,” Hyde said. “He should be playing games in early August if everything goes well.”

Franco, Santander sit: Third baseman Maikel Franco, who’s hitting .206, his lowest since June 13th, is not in the lineup. Nor is outfielder Anthony Santander, who’s hitting .233, his lowest since May 21st when he returned from a month on the injured list because of a sprained left ankle.

“Franco’s been struggling, and I wanted to see Pat [Valaika] out there, and I wanted to see Leyba play again,” Hyde said. “His [Santander’s] ankle is starting to feel a little bit better. He’s beating himself up a little bit. Offensively, with the bat, he wants to contribute so bad. It’s just not coming right now.”

Hyde said that both are healthy and available to play.

Mystery starter for Tuesday: Hyde isn’t sure about Tuesday’s starter. He could start left-hander Alexander Wells, who pitched two scoreless innings in his major league debut on Saturday. He also could start Adam Plutko or Travis Lakins and make it a bullpen game. The Orioles are off on Thursday.

“Tomorrow’s starter has not been announced because we’re going to see what happens after our ballgame tonight,” Hyde said. “We’re going to get through tonight and figure out tomorrow.”

Minor Matter: Play began for the two Orioles’ teams in the Florida Complex League on Monday.

The Orioles’ Black team defeated the Twins, 6-1, in six innings. Jean Pinto pitched four innings, allowing a run on two hits, striking out six and walking one.

Third baseman Coby Mayo, the Orioles’ fourth-round draft choice in 2020, made his professional debut and went 1-for-3. First baseman Josue Cruz had two hits, including a home run. Centerfielder Luis Gonzalez, who received a $475,000 bonus to sign with the Orioles in July 2019, had two hits.

The Orioles’ Orange team lost to the Pirates Black, 9-0. Connor Loeprich started and pitched three scoreless innings, allowing one hit. Dan Hammer, the Orioles’ 13th-round pick in 2019, allowed four runs without allowing a hit. He walked four and was tagged with the loss.

Most of the players on both teams are recent signees and acquisitions from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

Former Orioles bullpen coach Alan Mills, who managed in the Gulf Coast League in 2019, is managing the Orioles’ Black team. Kevin Bradshaw, who managed Aberdeen in 2019, is managing the Orioles’ Orange team.

Orioles Hall of Fame luncheon: Longtime Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, outfielder Mike Devereaux, broadcaster Joe Angel and Orioles superfan Mo Gaba, who died of cancer last July, will be honored at the Orioles’ Hall of Fame luncheon on Friday August 6th at 12 p.m. at Camden Yards.

Tickets are available by contacting Keiko Baker (443-596-7691 or [email protected]. Tickets for a pre-lunch VIP reception are also available.

The Hall of Fame ceremony will precede the Orioles-Rays game on August 7th.

Call for questions: Later this week, I’ll be answering your Orioles questions. Please leave them in the comment box or email them to: [email protected]

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Bman

    June 28, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    The Os have collapsed so all the focus is on the minors and player development and acquisitions. What are the chances they skip a potential impact player like say Davis in the draft, and go under slot to take someone like Frelick? Is that wise? The return later in the draft would have to be worth it. I think I it may work out with Mayo and Baumler but too early to see. Who are the most likely to be traded this year?

  2. willmiranda

    June 28, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    Glad to see Alan Mills still managing in the system. I believe he’s been quite successful.
    Downside: at least on my computer, the photo accompanying this article is virtually unrecognizable. I assume it’s Leyba, but I don’t think even his mother would recognize him.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 28, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      Will, I had a very limited selection of Leyba photos, and this was the best. I’m sorry you had to Leyba over it.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        June 28, 2021 at 9:34 pm

        Oh Rich …. that’ sooo bad it’s a little bit funny.

      • willmiranda

        June 29, 2021 at 9:47 am

        Touche, Rich. Sorry. I thought there was just a glitch in the imaging software; they can do crazy things. By the way, does
        your spellchecker come out of Boston?

  3. Beachdogs

    June 28, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    Rich, please explain the minor league rule 5 draft. Do the same rules as the rule 5 mlb draft apply. Thanks

  4. dlgruber1

    June 28, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Just a thought on the “opportunities” all these young players are getting in Baltimore. Does anyone else think that, even tho they know the team is terrible, they are perhaps putting too much pressure on themselves thus that’s the reason for the poor performances. I mean, if I’m a young pitcher and I know if I pitch well I have a chance to stick with the club, I think that would make me put much more pressure on myself than I’m used to. I don’t know, maybe I’m grasping at straws here but I think it’s a reasonable thought. Same goes with the position players. It’s just hard for me to believe that they’re all collectively playing poorly. But hey, the regulars aren’t exactly lighting it up either.

  5. Buzz1979

    June 28, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Leyba is going to seem like Rod Carew compared to Wilkerson!

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 28, 2021 at 9:40 pm

      I dunno Buzz….I see Leyba just got his 1st hit for the year. Currently batting .036. Other than .000, I’ve never seen an average that low. Struck me as kind of funny that you compare him to Carew.

      • Buzz1979

        June 28, 2021 at 10:40 pm

        I just can’t believe they gave Wilkerson so many chances, does he have photos of someone important? He has cleared waivers twice, says it all!

    • CalsPals

      June 29, 2021 at 7:02 am

      Lighten up Buzz, they stink, unfortunately they are what they are…not like Wilkerson has naked pictures of Mikeys wife;)….go O’s…

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 28, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    No O’s on MLB.TV in Texas …… again. Thanks Mr. Manfred you heepin’ pile-o-dung.

    No Coke … Pepsi

  7. Icterus fan

    June 28, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    Eschelman got squeezed by ump in bottom of 4th. He should have been out of that inning, but I know; woulda coulda shoulda.
    He has pitched decent enough tonight, despite no strikeouts, and gave his team a chance to put some runs on the board.
    Against Greinke it’s always tough.

    • dlgruber1

      June 28, 2021 at 9:56 pm

      Just once for God’s sake I’d like to see Hyde let a pitcher try to get out of an inning by himself. Eshelman had thrown 75 pitches which I’m sure is probably his high for the year but I’m also sure he threw more than that when he was in high school. Instead Sulser comes in and walks the first batter he faces which puts them behind 2-1 and of course it’s charged to Eshelman. I’m assuming the days are gone forever of a pitcher telling the manager “I got this, you can go back to the dugout now.”

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        June 28, 2021 at 10:19 pm

        If your name is Scherzer or Verlander or a few others you can …

    • dlgruber1

      June 28, 2021 at 10:30 pm

      BRR you might be right but I never see it anymore. The manager motions to the bullpen well before they ever get to the mound in all the games I see now. It’s possible that back and forth occurs in the dugout now before the pitcher even goes back out if the manager is thinking about pulling him. But in a 1-1 game in the 4th? I’m sure the exact situation has happened to Lopez on multiple occasions this season. At least I think it has. And I’m also thinking Harvey has been pulled after 4.2 innings on multiple occasions as well. I think Harvey has earned the chance thru his career to be allowed to pitch to an extra batter or two in those situations. What do I know tho, I’m just a fan?

  8. dlgruber1

    June 28, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    Maybe Urias should think less about DiMaggio and more about Vizquel.

  9. Hallbe62

    June 28, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Like Scott Garceau just said….”It’s tough to win when you’re walking 9″

  10. Hallbe62

    June 29, 2021 at 12:05 am

    Bust it open in the 9th boys !! Just find someone to get 3 in the ⬇️9th

  11. Hallbe62

    June 29, 2021 at 12:21 am

    FRY……Grow some nads Son and get 2 more outs !

  12. Hallbe62

    June 29, 2021 at 12:31 am

    It’s a win. But as usual it was highly in doubt. Thankful for the way the team battled. Embarrassed by Oriole pitching.

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