Another challenge, but Hyde’s ready
O’s manager has already weathered his toughest season
Well, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has another challenging year ahead of him, but at least he doesn’t have to worry about a sophomore jinx.
He oversaw the first year of executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias’s long-term rebuilding program and got solid marks for the way he kept his team engaged during a season in which the Orioles had no chance to be even marginally competitive in the American League East. Though this figures to be another year of talent accumulation and player development, Hyde said this weekend that he does expect to see progress from the young players who got their first significant big-league playing time in 2019.
“I want guys to step up and I want guys to learn from experiences they had last year,’’ he said during an Orioles Caravan event Friday in White March. “I’ve talked to almost every single guy coming to camp. Everybody’s had a great offseason. I think guys are really driven [and] are going to play with a chip on their shoulders. I just want guys to compete.”
They’ll certainly have to do that this spring, with 66 players expected to report to the Ed Smith Stadium Complex in Sarasota, Florida, over the next week. Pitchers and catchers will begin scheduled workouts Wednesday and the first full-squad workout is Feb. 17.
There will be a lot attention paid to 2019 top overall draft pick Adley Rutschman, who will be experiencing his first big-league camp after spending a couple of months in the minors last summer. But he’s actually one of the players who will not be competing for a majorleague job and probably won’t be under