HOUSTON - Orioles manager Brandon Hyde didn’t know that he’d used a different lineup through the first 64 games until told about it last week. It wasn’t done intentionally. It wasn’t devised as some sort of a plan.
Hyde has been basing his decisions on personnel and how the club is approaching the 2019 season. Nothing more to it. But today marks the first repeat, with Hyde posting the exact same lineup as yesterday.
The Orioles were the last team to come up with a different combination for every game.
“I think it was more of a media curiosity,” Hyde said, smiling.
“With our roster and with the amount of inexperience our guys have, our roster’s shuffled quite a bit. I just think it’s one of those things where we don’t have a lineup like these guys, a lot of everyday guys with experience and playoff experience. We’re trying to just give guys the right matchups and get guys to the top of the lineup that we feel have a good opportunity, a good chance for us.
“I think you’re going to continue seeing different lineups over the course of the year. I think some day at some point we’ll have more of a set lineup. Looking forward to that day. But right now where we are, you’re going to see a lot of different lineups.”
Hyde wasn’t aiming to go 162-for-162.
“No, that was definitely not my goal to come in and change it up all the time,” he said. “We look at the opposing pitcher, we look at our guys, our strengths, his strengths and weakness, all those things. And the numbers. And put together a lineup that we feel like gives us a chance.
“I think we’ve done a good job with that. We’ve been in most games and today’s just the first day we’re repeating.”
First baseman Chris Davis has been on the bench against left-handers the past two games, but he’ll return to the lineup with the Blue Jays starting three right-handers at Camden Yards beginning Tuesday night.
Hyde indicated that he hasn’t placed Davis in a platoon role.
“There’s nothing going on. He’s just not playing today versus Wade Miley,” Hyde said.
“I’m just going to pick my spots with him. Try to get good matchups for him and we’ll go from there”
Keon Broxton remains in center field, his defense and the club’s desire to audition him outweighing a slump that’s dropped his average to .168.
“I love his athleticism, obviously, in center field,” Hyde said. “This is a big center field and pretty big gaps, and having Keon out there running around, he’s just got great range. He’s got length, he can close on balls, he’s got great speed, makeup speed. So I just think he does a really nice job in center field. And he can throw. So really valuable center fielder.”
Austin Hays reported to Triple-A Norfolk yesterday, started in center and collected two hits in his first International League game. He could return to the majors later in the summer.
“I think a lot of our guys, you’re seeing opportunities all the time up here,” Hyde said. “We monitor our guys very, very closely. Read the report this morning about Austin. I just think we’re keeping a close eye on everybody in our organization, and maybe more so from my standpoint guys that can possibly help us or be up here. We follow very closely.”
Mark Trumbo homered and walked twice last night for Norfolk while continuing his injury rehab assignment. He’s 3-for-12 with a double and home run since joining the Tides and doesn’t appear to be having any issues with his knee.
Trumbo’s rehab assignment ends on June 16 and the Orioles must make a decision on him. Head athletic trainer Brian Ebel will check on him Monday in Baltimore.
“It sounds like reports are really good,” Hyde said. “He’s running a lot better than he did in spring training. He’s been on base six times in the last couple of games. Sounds like he’s recovering well, so obviously, another guy we’re keeping a close eye on.
“I’ve got all the videos from his at-bats, watching his swing, watching him run. Don (Long) has been taking a look at his at-bats, as well. So things are going well.”
Andrew Cashner is fine physically after yesterday’s outing. The hip isn’t bothering him, according to Hyde, and there don’t appear to be any concerns about the hot spot that developed on his right middle finger.
“He’s doing a lot better,” Hyde said. “It was just a little bit of a hot spot that’s pretty normal and guys have from time to time, and he’s not going to miss any time.”
Here are the starters for the series against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards:
Here’s the Astros lineup for today’s game:
Derek Fisher LF
Alex Bregman 3B
Josh Reddick RF
Yuli Gurriel 1B
Yordan Alvarez DH
Robinson Chirinos C
Tony Kemp 2B
Jack Mayfield SS
Myles Straw CF
Wade Miley LHP
Update: The Astros promoted top prospect Yordan Alvarez today and he hit a two-run homer off Dylan Bundy in the fourth to break a scoreless tie.