Hyde on Santander and Akin returning, Stowers' opportunity, and more

Anthony Santander is in right field tonight for the Orioles. Keegan Akin is in the bullpen. The competitive disadvantage from their absences in Toronto has been resolved.

Perhaps until the Orioles are in Toronto again. They make two more trips in 2022.

Unvaccinated players are denied entrance into Canada. Santander and Akin went on the restricted list, and the Orioles returned substitute players Kyle Stowers and Rico Garcia to Triple-A Norfolk.

“We knew going in,” Hyde said. “Gave a couple guys an opportunity because two guys couldn’t go, and if that presents itself again, we’ll take it like we just did.

“We’re not the only team that this has happened. It’s happening to most teams that go up there. I’ve talked to them and it’s their choice and I leave it up to them. They’re grown men, they’re going to make their own decisions. I can give them my opinion, but people make their own decisions. You try to persuade or give them my thoughts on it, but it’s ultimately up to them.”

These internal discussions have occurred “since COVID came into play,” Hyde said, “and when the vaccine came out we started talking about it.”

Hyde said he’s talked to other managers about which players are staying back, but never about how to handle it.

Stowers went 1-for-7 with an RBI double in two games against the Blue Jays.

“Talking to Kyle after the game yesterday, just a great experience for him,” Hyde said. “To be able to come up, I know it was a short sprint. He got two starts and he faced (Alek) Manoah and (José) Berríos. Welcome to the big leagues. But cool for him to experience that. And then go back down and understand what the starting pitching looks like up here, because it’s just different than the minor leagues.

“The starter you face is different, and the bullpen arms that come at you. You can’t replicate it. And the environment. You play in front of 40,000 in Toronto - loud, tough place to play. For him to be able to experience that, I think it’s an invaluable part of development.

“I thought he took some good swings. Loved the double to left-center. Cool to see him get his first major league hit, and I know he appreciated the experience. And hopefully it’s going to drive him to get back up here.”

Stowers sat yesterday with the Jays starting former Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman.

“Pretty significant reverse (splits) guy, just because of the fastball/split,” Hyde said. “I felt like (Ryan) McKenna had a good opportunity against Gausman and it worked out.”

Reliever Joey Krehbiel is expected to be activated from the injured list on Saturday. Krehbiel is undergoing another examination on his shoulder today before the team clears him to pitch.

“He should be,” Hyde said.

Rosters will undergo changes on Monday, with teams required to reduce their pitching staffs to 13. The Orioles are off before beginning a two-game home series against the Nationals.

Hyde doesn’t know how the bench will expand to four players.

“We’re kind of waiting to see where we are on Monday,” he said. “Things change so fast.”

Triple-A pitching coach Justin Ramsey is here for a few days to observe the team. He’s using John Means’ locker while the left-hander is in Texas rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

“Justin’s doing a great job in Norfolk for us, and a lot of the guys he’s had are here right now. I think it’s really beneficial for him to see what it looks like up here first-hand,” Hyde said.

“I remember going back to when I was in Double-A and being a September coach, just to have the big league perspective in person is way different than it is on TV. So, I think it’s really beneficial for him, beneficial for our guys that have had him, also. They’re very familiar with him and Chris Holt, the guys who have come through our system, so I think it’s just good for everybody to kind of have that continual flow of organizational thought and be on the same page in Triple-A as we are up here in the big leagues.”

The Orioles’ victory on May 20 snapped a 15-game losing streak against Tampa Bay. The series win was the first since July 31-Aug. 2, 2020.

For the Rays
Vidal Bruján 2B
Yandy Díaz DH
Ji-Man Choi 1B
Randy Arozarena LF
Harold Ramírez RF
Brett Phillips CF
Isaac Paredes 3B
Taylor Walls SS
René Pinto C

Shane Baz RHP

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