Brandon Hyde sets rotation, Mike Elias talks roster

Orioles' manager Brandon Hyde dropped some nuggets of information on his ballclub pregame Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla. Before the Orioles played the Red Sox, he announced the order of the starting rotation to begin the year and told reporters that Jorge Mateo would make the Opening Day roster.

We already knew that new ace Corbin Burnes would start the opener on March 28. But Hyde said he would be followed in order by Grayson Rodriguez, Tyler Wells, Dean Kremer and Cole Irvin.

With an off day on the second day of the season, the Orioles could have brought Burnes back for the fifth game of the year. Now he is set to start Game 6 after the first turn through the rotation.

Some are already speculating that Mateo's roster inclusion will make it harder for Jackson Holliday to make it. I don't see it that way just yet. But I guess yes if Ramon Urias makes the roster and there are no injuries or trades, it potentially could be more challenging.

I still see the kid on the roster for the opener.

Elias on the radio: Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias is ready to begin his sixth season with the club. Time flies and he’s no longer trying to build a winning club but maintain the one that he has and set it up for long October success.

The Orioles have built a major league winner and a minor league farm that is No. 1 in the sport. They may be the envy of other teams, but all the talent means that Elias and his staff are about to have to make some very tough roster decisions.

As a guest on the 105.7 FM the Fan morning show on Thursday, Elias discussed what is ahead for him the next several days.

“There are so many good options we have to fill out this roster. We know there will be a couple of heart breakers going back to Triple-A to at least start the season, but it’s a long year and it’s a whole team effort as I think we demonstrated last year,” he said.

Not ready to tip his hand yet at the final decisions, he did take time in the interview to discuss what goes into making them.

“It’s a mixture of factors,” he said. “We obviously are looking at the talent of the player and where they left off last year. Not so much what they are doing statistically in spring training, but how they are looking. And we also have to look at the other players on the roster and the roster fits. We usually like to have left-handed and right-handed options. You need a bunch of guys that can play center field and you need positional versatility across the roster.

“So, there is a lot of interlocking parts and then when there are young players you are thinking about debuting in the major leagues, we have to worry about how complete we feel like their development has been. And then there are also roster considerations, rules considerations. How many options somebody has, whether they are on the 40-man. So, there are a lot of moving parts, and we try to pull all of it together and make it the best we can.”

The point has been made several times and yesterday by Elias too, that the number of players that will be needed will greatly exceed the 26 that run down the orange carpet next Thursday at Oriole Park.

“It’s not permanent. We have a long season ahead of us and if someone is not cracking the opening day team it doesn’t mean they won’t be a huge contributor during the season,” he said.

During the interview Elias noted there were no veteran signings this winter. He sees that having an impact on just who the young guys look to for leadership in the clubhouse.

“We are really relying on that (Anthony) Santander, (Cedric) Mullins, (Austin) Hays, (Ryan) Mountcastle group and increasingly Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson and that generation of guys. This is the team. This is their team now. Their leadership has been wonderful. Some of these guys have been with this organization through thick and thin and will forever be part of turning it around here." he said.

Elias was also asked if age plays into Opening Day roster decisions, and he was specifically asked about Kyle Stowers who is now 26.

“It comes into play quite a bit," he said. "At the Triple-A level, I think you look at the amount of time they have spent at the Triple-A level already. What they have done there. The age kind of coincides in most cases with experience. We have a lot of guys in this camp that have played very well at Triple-A and a couple of them it’s been more than one year. It’s wonderful to have all this talent. But it’s going to bring about a couple of tough decisions in the next few days."

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