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SARASOTA—What’s happening? Orioles chairman and CEO John Angelos said that executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde were with the Orioles for “the long haul.”
Hyde said he appreciated that support.
“Ownership has been wonderful to me. Front office has, Mike and his group has been amazing to work for and with,” Hyde said.
“The patience everybody has shown getting this team where they are today. I’m obviously very happy to be here, proud of what we’ve done so far. Looking forward to seeing it through.”
The Orioles have their first full-squad workout scheduled for Tuesday. All 71 players have reported on time.
What’s happened? Hyde has to decide on a backup first baseman to Ryan Mountcastle. Anthony Santander said he has been working at first, but he’ll be heading to the World Baseball Classic on March 6th. Hyde said that Santander might get some time at first when he returns from the WBC.
Hyde said that he had about 10 options for a backup first baseman.
“Just look at the roster and there’s a lot of guys who’ve played first base,” Hyde said. “We have some versatile infielders, too.”
Among those who could get a look are backup catcher James McCann and infielder Terrin Vavra.
“We’re going to keep our options open. We’ve got a few non-roster guys here that have played first base in the big leagues and we want to take a look at,” Hyde said.
Left-handed hitting first base candidates include Franchy Cordero, Lewin Díaz, Josh Lester and Ryan O’Hearn along with right-hander Curtis Terry, all of whom have played in the big leagues.
“We’ve got a lot of guys in the mix,” Hyde said.
Hyde said that Adley Rutschman isn’t in the mix now but could be “down the road.”
What’s up with? Seth Johnson will start the 2023 season on the 60-day injured list. Johnson was traded to the Orioles from the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the three-way deal that sent Trey Mancini to the Houston Astros last August 1st.
Johnson was in Texas preparing for his Tommy John surgery when he heard about the trade.
“It was surprising just because of the timeline of my surgery, which was upcoming,” Johnson said. “It was a busy week, but overall I was excited.”
Johnson has been throwing for about a month and hopes to be playing again in August, a year after surgery.
“That’s far down the road, so we’re trying to take it one day at a time now,” he said.
Johnson and John Means, who had Tommy John surgery last April, aren’t necessarily comparing notes.
“I’m trying to stay out of his way as he takes care of what he needs to take care of,” Johnson said. “Being able to watch him day-to-day is really cool.”
Not being able to pitch in games is a difficult.
“It’s tough. It’s not easy. I want to be on the mound, and so rip some heaters or whatever,” Johnson said. “I have to understand I’m not there yet, so I’ve got to take it day-by-day.”
What’s what? Angelos offered his opinion Sunday on the left-field wall, which was moved 30 feet farther out and raised by 8 feet last season.
“There are all kinds of considerations, the iconic nature of the ballpark, the aesthetics, get enough people in a room, I’m sure we’ll have a different opinion on that, but I really felt like that was based on the belief by the baseball folks that it would help us with our long-term competitiveness and relevance,” Angelos said.
“Unless I thought that was … invalid, which I didn’t, it didn’t require me to do much of anything, They said it was going to work. There’s a presumption by me that they’re smart, bright reasonable people that want to win, and why would they want to do it. I thought it was something the company just preauthorized and go with it.”
“You can’t be afraid to let your best people make decisions. I was aware but I wasn’t an activist.”
What’s the word? “You have two guys that would be playing every other day not here. We’d love to have them here, but they’re both doing a really cool thing by playing in the WBC, but it gives some at-bats to others that we want to take a look at.”-Hyde on Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander’s absence from camp for the World Baseball Classic.
What’s the number? 70-99 With 71 players in camp, seven numbers officially retired and at least four unofficially retired, it’s not surprising that the Orioles are using uniform numbers 70-99 to players this spring. Minor league catcher Maverick Handley has No. 99.
RAVENS LINKS FROM BALTIMORESPORTS.COM