Hyde on Broxton: “His tools are off the charts” (O’s down 7-5)

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said today that he expects new outfielder Keon Broxton to join the club in a day or two.

“I think it’s a little cloudy right now,” he said.

What’s clear is Broxton, who’s out of minor league options, will get an extended opportunity with the Orioles based on his tools and their needs.

Brandon-Hyde-Looks-Out-From-Dugout-White-Sidebar.jpg“He’s a really athletic guy,” Hyde said after the Orioles acquired Broxton from the Mets for international signing bonus slots. “I’ve seen him play quite a bit. His tools are off the charts. He can really go get it in center field. I’ve seen him make numerous great plays against the team I was with.

“Last year in a playoff race they (Brewers) were using him late for defense because his defense is so good. He’s also hit 20 homers in the big leagues. So he’s got some serious raw power. He can really, really run. He’s got a lot of tools, so excited to have him in the organization.”

Broxton was pushed aside with the Brewers after they acquired outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich.

“I know that he’s excited to come here, and he’s going to get an opportunity to play,” Hyde said. “I think it’s going to be great. Mike (Elias) said all along about adding talent in the system, talent in the organization, and we just got a really talented guy. Looking forward to watching him play and giving him an opportunity.

“I’ve seen him play quite a bit, and I’ve seen the raw power and I’ve seen the speed and I’ve seen the defense in center, and it’s going to be exciting to have him.”

Infielder Stevie Wilkerson has been playing center field after the Orioles optioned Cedric Mullins to Triple-A Norfolk. Joey Rickard has been backing up at all three outfield spots.

Broxton won’t be sitting on the bench, however the roster shakes out.

“He’s going to play quite a bit,” Hyde said. “We’re going to figure that out. This just kind of all happened and I haven’t mapped it out entirely. But yeah, we’re going to give him a chance to play.”

But not necessarily at the expense of Wilkerson.

“Stevie’s going to play,” Hyde said. “I’ve been impressed. We’ve all been impressed. It’s not easy to go play a position you’ve never played before in the big leagues. And not only that but center field, a middle-of-the-field position, and he’s done a great job. Love his at-bats left-handed.

“I just like how he plays the game. He plays really hard, he plays to win, he’s really competitive. I love his athleticism. So he’s going to continue to play a lot.”

Orioles infielder Jonathan Villar spent parts of three seasons with Broxton in Milwaukee and is excited about the reunion.

“He’s a good guy,” Villar said. “I love that guy. He’s played great in the outfield. He’s a happy guy in the dugout.

“It’s better for us because he’s a good teammate. He’s very happy all the time.”

Broxton’s value to the Orioles starts with his defense in center field, where he’s made highlight-worthy plays over the years.

“He’s good, he’s good,” Villar said. “He likes to work before the games. I don’t care if he doesn’t hit in one game, if he’s 0-for-4. He plays for the team. He doesn’t paly solely for himself. He plays for everybody.

“We need an outfielder. We have an infielder play center field, and I think he can help the team.”

The Orioles transferred pitcher Alex Cobb to the 60-day injured list while he remains in Sarasota. Hyde said the club doesn’t know when the veteran right-hander is going to be ready to return from a lumbar strain.

“I think we’re still waiting to see how he’s responding and seeing how he feels off the mound still,” Hyde said. “He’s just playing catch, so can’t put a timetable on if he has any setbacks or what’s going to happen, but as of right now he wasn’t going to come back before those 60 days. So give him the opportunity to get right and go through a full rehab and then we’ll go from there.

“Obviously, would love to have Alex Cobb here, so we’ll see when he gets here. I have no idea.”

Hyde delivered the same message about prospects in Triple-A that Elias relayed in the dugout. At least a few of them should make it to Baltimore later in the summer.

“I think there’s going to be chances to impact here soon,” Hyde said. “I think that there’s some guys swinging the bat down there that’s pushing the envelope a little bit. I’m really happy with how some of these guys are performing at the Triple-A level. There’s a chance over the summer you’re going to see guys coming up. That’s going to be fantastic.

“I’m so happy that some of these guys are performing down there. Some of those guys got off to kind of a rough start early and have really picked it up, so it’s great to see.”

Update: Thairo Estrada hit a two-run homer off Dan Straily in the second inning to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. DJ LeMahieu added a two-run shot later in the inning.

Update II: Gleyber Torres led off the third with a home run. Yankees 5, Orioles 0

Update III: Hanser Alberto doubled in the third to score Richie Martin. Yankees 5, Orioles 1

Update IV: Gary Sanchez homered in the fourth for a 6-1 lead.

Update V: The Orioles scored a run in the fourth on Torres’ throwing error to cut the lead to 6-2.

Update VI: Torre homered off Gabriel Ynoa leading off the fifth. Seriously. Yankees lead 7-2.

Update VII: Martin led off the bottom of the fifth with his first major league home run and Renato Núñez added a two-run shot to trim the lead to 7-5.

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