Hyde on Means, promoting prospects, and more

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said he has a few ideas for Tuesday night’s starter in Oakland, but he isn’t ready to disclose them.

He doesn’t know whether John Means will start again in 2022.

The rotation wasn’t going to stay in its break-camp form throughout the summer, but Hyde didn’t think the adjustments would come so quickly.

Spenser Watkins is expected to open the series Monday against the Athletics, when a healthy Means would have been working on normal rest if not pushed back a day. But Means is on the injured list with a strained left elbow and is seeking second opinions after undergoing an MRI.

“It’s going to be a while,” Hyde said.

Asked whether he meant to get the results or for Means to pitch again, Hyde said, “I think both.”

“I wouldn’t expect him to pitch anytime soon,” he said.

A second opinion isn’t usually sought after receiving good news, and it’s often done to exhaust every option before undergoing surgery. There haven’t been many details shared since Means left Wednesday’s start after four innings.

“I think we’re just covering all the bases medically and going to see some specialists,” Hyde said. “To get those results, it’s going to take a while, but he’s not going to be on the mound for a while.”

Will Means pitch again in 2022?

“I don’t know that,” Hyde said. “That’s a question mark right now.”

Left-hander Alexander Wells is in the bullpen and could start Tuesday if he isn’t needed in the Yankees series. Keegan Akin and Mike Baumann have impressed in relief roles, and the Orioles don’t seem tempted to change their roles.

Grayson Rodriguez and Kyle Bradish remain at Triple-A Norfolk, the latter listed as Sunday’s starter. The Orioles don’t want to let circumstances at the major league level dictate when their pitching prospects debut.

They don’t want to risk fouling up the development process with short-term thinking.

“I’ve seen it both ways,” Hyde said. “I’ve seen guys come up and have early success and stay with that success. I’ve seen extremely talented guys come up that you (thought) were for sure major league players come up and struggle, have to go back down. And they turn into All-Star type major league players, as well. 

“The timetable’s different for everybody. I think guys handle the big leagues differently and what comes along with it. I don’t think that being a top prospect is going to lead to early success, but it could. I’ve seen it both ways.

“I think patience is a huge part of it. Confidence is a huge part of it. Support, understanding how talented they are, and it’s just a matter of time. It’s a fine line on when’s the right time, because you never really know. You just want to put them in position to have some success, and hopefully they run with it, knowing that even if they don’t, they’re going to be a good major league player down the road.”

The Orioles are the only team with a bullpen that hasn’t surrendered a home run. They allowed 109 last season, most in the majors.

The bullpen’s 1.03 WHIP ranks second in the American League behind Seattle’s 0.81, and fourth in the majors. It’s induced six double plays, most in the majors.

The pitching staff hasn’t allowed a home run in the first four games to start the season at Camden Yards for the first time in ballpark history – in the first season with the left field wall pushed back and increased in height.

Draw your own conclusions.

“I don’t think it has a fundamental effect on how (the game) is being played,” Hyde said. “It’s a different feeling for me. I’m probably shell-shocked a little bit here, but every time a ball goes up in the air to left field, the last few years I felt like there was a chance for a homer, and now I don’t feel that way, and that’s a little bit more of a comfortable feeling, honestly, in the dugout, just because I saw so many miss-hit balls that were homers into left-center here.

“I hope our hitters keep the right mindset of, it’s big out there, but there’s a whole field to play with, also, and some of our right-handed hitters, when they’re going best, they’re driving the ball to right-center anyway. But the different for me is, balls in the air to left, I don’t drop my head like I did the last few years.”

For the Yankees

Aaron Hicks CF
Aaron Judge RF
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Giancarlo Stanton DH
Josh Donaldson 3B
Joey Gallo LF
Gleyber Torres 2B
Isiah Kiner-Falefa SS
Jose Trevino Cz 

Jameson Taillon RHP

Akin on how rocky spring turned into strong start
O's game blog: Tyler Wells faces the Yankees

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/