Elias, Hyde on Hall, Nevin, adding pitching, message to Orioles in 2024 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Elias, Hyde on Hall, Nevin, adding pitching, message to Orioles in 2024

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA TODAY Sports

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The Orioles still aren’t sure whether left-handed pitcher DL Hall will stay in the bullpen or become a starter in 2024.

“I think it’s TBD what he does,” executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said about Hall on Thursday.  “He saw a lot of really good success last year in the bullpen and perhaps depending on how spring training goes, we keep him there, slowly stretch him out over the next year or so.

“It’s also possible that we make the move to stretch him out right away. It’s something that we’ve been talking about with him and his camp. He’s in a good spot right now, and he’s somebody that we view long-term as a starting pitcher.”

Trades or free agents? Elias said if the Orioles are going to acquire an impact starting pitcher, it’s more likely to happen through a trade than a free-agent signing.

“I don’t think there are any bones about it,” Elias said. “We’re better equipped to bring in impact starting pitching via the trade route. We’ve been exploring that pretty heavily.

“There’s some really big signings of starting pitchers that have happened, and they’ve by and large gone to really large-market teams and really large cities. It’s just the reality of baseball. It doesn’t mean we’re not talking to those people or checking on them. I think we have an advantage with the trade firepower that we have … Still some time left. We’re working on it.”

Elias on Nevin: Earlier this week, the Orioles reacquired infielder Tyler Nevin from Detroit despite having a plethora of infielders.

“We’ve always liked Tyler,” Elias said. “It was a small cash trade. We’re always looking for depth and right-handed hitting depth. He’s really good against left-handed pitching and he provides us some depth. He’s somebody we’re comfortable with. We’ll see how it all shakes out.”

Orioles’ good health: Elias said that other than closer Félix Bautista, who’ll miss the 2024 season after last October’s Tommy John surgery, there are no current health concerns.

“Right now, Bautista is the only player we have on our roster who we know is going to miss games in 2024,” he said. “That’s a good thing … Hopefully, the baseball gods aren’t listening to me saying that.”

Elias on arbitration: Four players remain in the arbitration process: Relievers Danny Coulombe and Jacob Webb, first baseman/outfielder Ryan O’Hearn and outfielder Austin Hays have yet to reach agreement on a 2024 contract figure.

Elias said some of them could settle.

“I hope so. We’re not going to force it,” he said.

The only times the Orioles have settled arbitration cases after figures were exchanged were when they’ve added an option year or added a second year as was the case with pitcher John Means in 2022.

“This is the system that we have for figuring out how people should be compensated for their work,” Elias said. “It’s something we’re going to have more and more of now that we’re a young, talented organization with a lot of players going through their pre-arb and arb years.”

Hyde on his message: Last year, the Orioles won 101 games, 24 more than they were forecast to by the oddsmakers.

Manager Brandon Hyde was able to motivate his team by telling them they’d been disrespected. After all, the Orioles won 83 games in 2022, 31 more than the year before.

His message will be a different one when the team reports to Sarasota next month.

“The season didn’t end the way we wanted it to,” Hyde said. “Last year was last year. This is a totally new season and we’re putting it behind us. We want to feel good about what happened last year in a lot of ways, and the growth we made in so many different ways.

“Getting a taste of the postseason for the first time with all of our young players is going to be very valuable experience. Last year was last year and we’re moving on to next year.”

Hyde on new pitching coaches: The Orioles added Drew French as pitching coach and promoted Mitch Plassmeyer from the minor leagues to be their assistant pitching coach.

“Drew comes so highly respected,” Hyde said. “From the people who’ve worked with him as well as players in the Atlanta and Houston days.”

French was the Braves’ bullpen coach the last three seasons.

“Adding Mitch as his assistant. He’s been an [under] the radar type of guy here in the organization. Everybody knows what kind of job he does and the kind of relationships he’s built.”

Note: The Orioles signed left-handed pitcher Ronald Guzmán to a minor league contract. As a first baseman, Guzmán hit .235 with 16 home runs and 58 RBIs for Texas in 2018. He has a lifetime average of .225 in four seasons with Texas and one with the Yankees. He faced three batters for Triple-A Scranton in 2022, his first professional pitching appearance.

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