Orioles hope Stowers regains confidence at Norfolk; Santander's 1st game at 1st; Ohtani vs. Rodriguez - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Orioles hope Stowers regains confidence at Norfolk; Santander’s 1st game at 1st; Ohtani vs. Rodriguez

Photo Credit: Brett Davis USA TODAY Sports

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BALTIMORE—The Orioles hope that sending Kyle Stowers back to Triple-A Norfolk makes him a more effective hitter. Stowers was sent back to Norfolk after Sunday’s game. The outfielder struck out four times and is just 2-for-30 (.067).

“I’d like to see him get his confidence back,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Get some regular at-bats. He was swinging the bat so well before he came up here. I want to see him get the confidence going again.

“Talking to him after the game, I felt it was more important for him to get consistent at-bats. That’s a tough adjustment up here. It’s very normal to have early player struggles or scuffles. We really believe in him as a hitter, what he’s going to be like. We just want to see him play.

“It’s never easy. It’s a tough conversation. When me and [executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias] are talking to him after the game, you want [him] to take it the right way. Kyle’s such a great kid, and he really, really cares and incredibly professional, does everything right. I couldn’t be happier with the person and how he goes about his business.”

Stowers was drafted in the second round by the Orioles in 2019, behind Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson.

“It’s team first, and he’s really, really talented,” Hyde said. “You want to paint the right picture for him, and you want to do what’s best for him and the club. He took it well, and he understands. I think the confidence thing at this level is really, really important. I want to see him go down there and take some good at-bats.”

Santander at first: Outfielder Anthony Santander gets his first major league start at first base on Monday night against the Angels.

“In the past, I did it in spring training to be ready for the times to come,” Santander said. “Excited to go over there and do the job. I like challenges. I’m more excited to be at first base today and give the opportunity to give [Ryan Mountcastle] some DH time.”

Santander played first base in spring training and nine games for Lynchburg in High-A in 2016.

“I’m not nervous at all,” Santander said. “I’ve just got to go out there and practice and prepare myself for the game and be ready for the first pitch.”

“I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now,” Hyde said. “It was the right time to give Mounty a rest and Tony takes ground balls there almost every single day and has been working hard at it. I gave him some innings there in spring training, and he looked really comfortable. He’s continued to work on it in the season. I thought tonight was the right night.”

Ohtani vs. Rodriguez: The Orioles will face the Los Angeles Angels and Shohei Ohtani, who’ll be the starting pitcher and batting third. Grayson Rodriguez will oppose him.

“I think it’s two huge talents, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for Grayson,” Hyde said. “Only in this case is a pitcher going against another pitcher because this guy was hitting, also, and one of the best players on the planet. I think it’s always special facing a guy with this much ability and talent.

“Grayson’s got a great mindset for it. He’s excited about the challenge … I haven’t talked to him about today, but he’s up for the challenge. This is a really good lineup, not only Ohtani but you’ve got Mike Trout in there. Let’s not forget about him. It’s a tough matchup. This is what you live for. This is why we’re here. You definitely feel you’re in the big leagues on nights like tonight.”

Note: Norfolk outfielder Colton Cowser was named International League Player of the Week for the second time this season.

Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions later this week. Please email yours to: [email protected]

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