DETROIT - Orioles manager Brandon Hyde thought about sitting Anthony Santander today while the young outfielder was mired in a lengthy slump. Santander altered those plans yesterday with a two-run single that snapped an 0-for-27 streak.
“He wanted to be in there today,” Hyde said this afternoon.
“I know how much that hit meant to him in his last at-bat. I told him, ‘Listen, I wasn’t planning on playing you tomorrow if things didn’t go real well today.’ And he said, ‘No, no, no, papi, I want to be in there.’ So he’s in there.”
Left-hander John Means has two more starts left, at the most, following today’s game against the Tigers. He’s finishing strong with a 2.53 ERA in his last five outings, an important surge as he piles on more innings as a first-year major league starter.
“John’s had a great season up until this point,” Hyde said. “Whether he has a couple bad starts or not, it’s not going to take away the season he’s had and how he’s proved to everybody he’s a major league starter and he’s done a great job for us all year long.
“Let’s hope that he finishes on a great note. But at the same time he’s just been so impressive this year, going six-plus innings almost every time out. He’s just done a great job for us. Hoping he finishes strong, but we’ll see.”
Beginning the season in a relief role has eased Means into a more strenuous workload. He earned his first win by holding the Yankees to one run in 3 1/3 innings on March 31 and posted back-to-back scoreless outings totally only 2 1/3 innings.
“I always go back to that game in New York when the changeup really played and I think that game alone proved to him that he could pitch here and pitch here with success,” Hyde said.
“He’s just taken off from there and thrown the ball great.”
While the Orioles have done a significant amount of shuffling in the rotation and bullpen, the infield has held pretty firm with consistent games played by Jonathan Villar, Hanser Alberto and Richie Martin. Renato Núñez has been available to play the infield corners when he isn’t used as the designated hitter.
“You jinxing us right now?” Hyde said, knocking on the wooden bench in the visiting dugout.
“We’ve stayed healthy for the most part and guys have played a lot of games and taken care of their bodies and done a nice job. So, yeah, let’s hope it continues.
“We’ve been playing some pretty good baseball. I want to see us play clean baseball the last couple weeks and continue to improve and go into the offseason on a good note.”
Villar has appeared in all 150 games.
“Whether he plays the rest of the games this season or not, I’m not sure,” Hyde said. “But I checked in with him yesterday and he wants to play today and we’ll go from there.”
The Orioles aren’t bringing back Double-A Bowie hitting coach Keith Bodie and player development consultant B.J Surhoff for the 2020 season, according to sources.
Bodie managed at Single-A Frederick in 2016-17 before joining Bowie’s staff.
Surhoff spent eight of his 19 seasons as a player with the Orioles. He worked in unofficial capacities in the organization before the Orioles hired him in 2014 as a special assignment coach.
Baysox manager Buck Britton is joining the Orioles coaching staff on Tuesday. He’s replacing Triple-A Norfolk manager Gary Kendall, whose stint with the club ends tonight.
The Orioles wanted to rotate a few minor league managers onto the staff.