SARASOTA, Fla. - The job of a major league manager can expand in unexpected and unfortunate ways. Brandon Hyde, in his second season with the Orioles, is learning about it with Trey Mancini away from the team and facing a non-baseball surgical procedure later this week.
Hyde is trying to comfort players and also keep them focused on the task at hand. The business side of spring training.
“When you’re in this role, you never know what’s going to happen, what’s going to come to your desk on a day-to-day basis, and there’s life that happens outside of baseball,” Hyde said.
“These are young men that are just a really great group of guys and Trey’s an enormous part of this team and a huge face for our club, and everybody loves him, and so when there’s a setback, it hurts to not have him here. We’re just thinking about him and his well-being.”
The balance must be struck, no matter how difficult, between compassion and the necessary day-to-day tasks that lead into opening day. Baseball is put in its proper perspective, but it can’t be ignored.
“With the thought of him in mind is natural and normal,” Hyde said. “We’ve had a lot of individual conversations with guys and keeping in constant contact with Trey. Sometimes things happen that make you open your eyes a little bit from what’s important.”
Hyde has no idea how he’d replace Mancini on the opening day roster. He isn’t ready to go there.
Meanwhile, Hyde is hoping to get a minimum of two innings today out of Kohl Stewart, who’s making his spring debut, with a cap on three. Stewart has been throwing on the back fields to build up his arm.
“He’s been stretched out a little bit,” Hyde said, “so we’re going to limit him to two to three innings and kind of see how it goes. But he is stretched out for that amount. And looking forward to watching him start.”
Going three innings today more easily allows Stewart to stay in the rotation plans. Or at least present a more convincing case if he’s productive.
“He is built up for that and we’ll go from there,” Hyde said.
Left-hander Tommy Milone is throwing another bullpen session today while drawing closer to a second exhibition start.
“We’re going to re-evaluate him,” Hyde said. “Hopefully, we get him on the mound in game action in the next week. Just keeping our fingers crossed that our pitching guys can stay healthy.”
Outfielder DJ Stewart, unable to play following October ankle surgery, could make his debut “late next week,” according to Hyde, who’s presenting a best-case scenario.
“He’s doing really well in his running progression,” Hyde said. “We just did cuts and relays out here where he was running and looked good. It’s a handful of days and more of that progression.
“He’s taken a ton of at-bats. We’ve had a lot of sim game stuff on the back fields and he’s got a lot of at-bats from that standpoint. But in game situations probably late next week if everything goes well.”
“I think it’s case by case, but I’d love to see one of those guys or somebody else, be able to pencil them in there every day,” Hyde said. “I think we’ll see how it goes. I have no idea. I had Alberto lead off against left-handers last year just because what he was doing against left-handed pitching. I wanted him up there as much as possible. And that might be the case this year. It might be Hays. At this point I don’t know.”
For the Yankees
DJ LeMahieu 2B
Luke Voit 1B
Gleyber Torres SS
Kyle Higashioka C
Chris Gittens DH
Rosell Herrera 3B
Estevan Florial CF
Trey Amburgey LF
Thomas Milone RF
Clarke Schmidt RHP