An­other chal­lenge, but Hyde’s ready

O’s man­ager has al­ready weath­ered his tough­est sea­son

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS - Peter Schmuck

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

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