Hyde expects Orioles to be ready for Rangers in Game 1 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Hyde expects Orioles to be ready for Rangers in Game 1

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA TODAY Sports

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BALTIMORE—When manager Brandon Hyde talked about the Orioles’ Division Series on Wednesday afternoon, he didn’t know that the Texas Rangers would beat the Tampa Bay Rays and come to Baltimore on Saturday to start the best-of-five series.

“We’re watching these wild-card games. We’re seeing who we’re going to play,” Hyde said. “Once we know, we’ll figure out our roster.”

Hyde presumably will wait until Friday when the Rangers and Orioles have their ALDS media day to reveal who’ll start Game 1, which will begin at 1 p.m.

Kyle Bradish is the favorite for that assignment, and now that the Orioles know it’s the Rangers, with whom they split six games this season, they can decide on a 26-man roster.

“We’ll see who we’re going to play. I’m not going to divulge any roster information today,” Hyde said.

The Orioles held a public workout and fans enjoyed the beautiful weather and watched a four-inning simulated game.

Dean Kremer pitched two innings. Yennier Cano, Danny Coulombe, Jack Flaherty, DL Hall, Cionel Pérez, Jacob Wells and Tyler Wells pitched. The Orioles used a major league fill-in umpire, Ryan Wills, to call balls and strikes.

“It’s important for our bullpen guys, especially, to get 15 or so pitches out [after] having a couple of days off,” Hyde said. “I’m trying to keep these guys as sharp as possible. It’s good for our hitters to have live at-bats, see velocity. It’s a weird situation, having this many days off.

“We’re going to do some more stuff, similar to this tomorrow. More pitchers will throw. The speed of the game is obviously not quite the same. We want to make sure they’re as sharp as possible going into Saturday.”

Centerfielder Cedric Mullins said his teammates are eager to play.

“It’s nice having some time off,” Mullins said. “Our schedule in September was pretty tough on us with that 17-game stretch. To be able to have these days to fully recover and at the same time keep our bodies going in preparation. A lot of us are going to the postseason for the first time. I know for a fact the energy is there.

“Guys are definitely ready to go. Make sure the bodies are healthy and ready. Having some fans out to watch us practice brings some energy.”

In 2016 when Hyde was a coach with the Chicago Cubs, they won the World Series in seven games. Game 7 was played on November 2nd.

If the Orioles play a Game 7 in the World Series, they would play until November 4th.

“That’s the thing that people don’t understand,” Hyde said. “The adrenaline really picks up and the energy in the ballparks, but you’re playing for a full month after. Pitchers’ innings, those type of things come into play. There’ll be so much intensity in those games. There’ll be so much energy in the ballpark that guys won’t even think about it.”

Though Hyde was a coach for postseason teams in Chicago from 2015-2018, it will be his first as a manager.

“I’ve been in the postseason before, but I haven’t run the game,” Hyde said. “From bullpen decisions to the kind of conversations I’m in with [general manager Mike Elias] right now about our rotation, our roster, those type of things, I’m really enjoying it.

“It’s a lot of fun, honestly, putting together this postseason roster. I’m very anxious to start. This is why you do this for six months. To have this opportunity, with this group, especially, a special great character group of guys … I hope we can play for a while.”

By the time the Orioles and Rangers play on Saturday afternoon, it will be six days since their final regular season game and nine since clinching the American League East.

“Everybody’s going to have big-time butterflies that day,” Hyde said. “It’s going to be about controlling your emotions, take a breath, not have the game speed up on you, not try to do too much. I think our guys are made for the moment. We don’t have a ton of postseason experience. I think we have a real confident group. Our young guys are real confident players.

“I also feel like we’ve played postseason type of games the last couple of weeks of the season that I wouldn’t say ‘must wins,’ but we really wanted to win certain games, and our guys performed, and I’m expecting that to happen in the postseason.”

Schedule update: Sunday’s Game 2 will begin at 4:07 p.m. Game 3 will be on October 10th at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas at 8:07 p.m., and, if necessary, Game 4 will be at Texas on October 11th. If Game 5 is needed, it will be at Oriole Park on October 13th.

Minor league notes: Triple-A Norfolk manager Buck Britton was named International League Manager of the Year. Colton Cowser is an International League All-Star outfielder. … Corner infielder Josh Lester, who batted .182 in 11 games with the Orioles and hit 23 home runs and drove in 87 runs for Norfolk, has filed for minor league free agency. Reliever Jorge López has cleared waivers and refused an outright assignment to Norfolk, filing for free agency.

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