Hyde on Baumann being DFA'd: "It's been a gloomy morning"

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde had another difficult conversation this morning in his office, informing Mike Baumann that the popular reliever was designated for assignment to create room for starter Grayson Rodriguez.

Baumann wasn’t removed from the roster due to poor performance. The bullpen lacks flexibility with minor league options and Baumann had to go.

Hyde had to be the bearer of bad news, one of the most unpleasant aspects of his job.

“It’s been a really tough morning,” Hyde said. “Mike has been with us for a while. You think about the first half he had for us last year, how many games he helped us win, how good he was. Threw the ball really well last night. And on top of all those things, just the incredible person he was, unbelievable teammate, first-class pro in every single way. So well liked by the guys in our clubhouse.

“It’s been a gloomy morning.”

Baumann didn’t allow a run in three straight appearances and five of six to lower his ERA to 3.44 in 17 games and 18 1/3 innings. He also had a 1.473 WHIP, so there was traffic on the bases, but he was getting important outs.

The former third-round draft pick out of Jacksonville University responded well last year to a more defined role. No longer bouncing between the Triple-A rotation and major league bullpen, and no longer viewed as a long reliever, Baumann went 10-1 with a 3.76 ERA in 60 appearances over 64 2/3 innings.

Yennier Cano and Keegan Akin are the only relievers with options.

“It’s going to be tough and so it made a decision like this morning very, very hard,” Hyde said. “Just the way the rules are in place, with only being able to carry 13 pitchers and having guys who are out of options, you have to make tough decisions.”

Rodriguez is making his seventh start and his first since April 29. He logged 101 pitches in 5 2/3 innings against the Yankees but might not get near that number today.

“Threw the ball really well, especially that last side,” Hyde said. “Feels good, so just missed a couple weeks and we feel like that was necessary for him. He feels great right now."

The Orioles will play 43 games in a span of 45 days. They’re prepared to break out a six-man rotation once Cole Irvin is removed from bullpen duty. And Hyde must manage the bullpen differently to make it work.

“A little bit, yeah,” Hyde said. “You’ve got to definitely keep in mind recovery, times they get up, all those types of things I’m conscious of. I am already, but especially when you roll into a long stretch. That’s one of the reasons why we have Cole in our bullpen right now and probably go to a six-man here at some point. You just want to try to keep as many people fresh as possible. Six-man makes it even harder.

“Not having optionable guys and wanting to keep this group together through this stretch, I’m going to be very aware of usage.”

The starters could be pushed a little farther than usual due to the additional rest and shortage of relievers.

“Yes, but to the point that I’m never gonna sacrifice anything to try to get them through an extra inning if we feel like it’s going to be not responsible for them or putting them in harm’s way in any single way,” Hyde said.

“A lot goes into pulling a starter, from pitches through one inning, stressful innings, all those types of things. A guy like Grayson, hasn’t pitched in two weeks. It’s going to be a shorter leash. I’m not going to push him in any fashion, especially if there’s a lot of guys on base early, that kind of thing. Nice to have (Albert) Suárez and Irvin down there both fully rested. We haven’t had this very much where we’ve had a lot of guys available out of the bullpen.”

Suárez can provide bulk innings and he hasn’t pitched since tossing three scoreless Sunday against the Diamondbacks.

“That’s the huge thing about him right now is that he can go four innings for us or he can get some big outs in the later part of the game,” Hyde said. “Having Cole down there, you have another guy that’s fully stretched out.”

Corbin Burnes starts Sunday’s series finale, which moves Dean Kremer to the Cardinals series that begins Monday night in St. Louis.

First baseman Ryan Mountcastle is out of the lineup but Hyde said it’s just a day off and not related to a health issue.

Adley Rutschman is batting .516 with a 1.065 slugging percentage against fastballs over his last 21 games, compared to a .333 average and .515 slugging in first 20, per STATS.

Ten of Jorge Mateo’s 18 hits have gone for extra bases. He’s starting at second base again today.

For the Mariners

Josh Rojas 2B
Julio Rodríguez CF
Cal Raleigh C
Mitch Garver DH
Luke Raley LF
Dylan Moore SS
Dominic Canzone RF
Ty France 1B
Luis Urías 3B

Luis Castillo RHP

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Rodriguez activated, Baumann DFA

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