Iglesias sitting out tonight’s intrasquad game (and other notes)

Orioles shortstop José Iglesias won’t play in tonight’s intrasquad game at Camden Yards due to soreness in his back that kept him out of yesterday’s workout.

Manager Brandon Hyde said it’s a precautionary move and is hoping that Iglesias will be available on Thursday.

Tonight’s game is going to be relaxed, which is typical of intrasquad settings. Hyde said he’ll use some “ghost defenders” rather than filling every position.

“You’ll see a not full field out there,” Hyde said during today’s Zoom conference call.

“It’ll be fun. We are going to keep some stats. We’re going to keep track of how some guys are doing from an at-bat standpoint. Obviously, we have all of our pitching stats we’re going to keep. We might do something competitive game-wise, kind of, at the end of this. Want to get everybody to get some outings on the mound, get some at-bats before we take this too seriously.

“Right now I’m just breaking up guys just to ... Like, tomorrow’s different than today. But there’s no real science behind it. I’m putting some middle guys together. I’ll put together some outfield combinations, things like that. It’s pretty much just getting everybody on the field.”

Austin Hays and DJ Stewart are the only available outfielders, which is going to create lots of space for the hitters.

“Tonight it’s going to be a wide-open outfield,” Hyde said. “We’ll have some ghost defenders out there unless the strength coaches are really feeling athletic this evening, or any of our coaching staff.”

Hyde invited Jim Misudek, senior manager of baseball communications, to grab a glove and play right field. He declined.

“We’re just going to play short and I’ll just make the call - either he’s out or it’s a single or whatever it is,” Hyde said.

The Orioles have intrasquads set up through Saturday night.

“It’s nice to play an intrasquad in a major league stadium, especially one that you’re going to play in a lot,” Hyde said. “Some of these guys haven’t played in this stadium, so to be able to kind of get used to it ...

“Another thing, with no fans it is different for outfielders, for corner infielders. With just seats behind there sometimes your depth perception, the ball isn’t as clear at times. So to be able to play in an empty stadium is definitely going to be different, so it’s kind of like a practice run of what it’s going to be like.”

Tommy Milone and Thomas Eshelman are starting tonight. Hyde said he’s stretching out at least nine pitchers who are rotation candidates and others for possible long relief roles.

Non-roster invite César Valdez is a swingman who’s going to be extended to four innings in a couple of days.

Williams-M-Shades-ST-sidebar.jpgOutfielder/infielder Ryan Mountcastle and outfielder Mason Williams completed their intake testing in Baltimore today and have joined the player pool, which is expanded to 47. They’re going to work out at Camden Yards until the alternate site is ready.

“We’re going to have a couple guys probably every day now that we’re starting to play games,” Hyde said. “Those guys won’t be in the games for a while, but we’re going to get them on the field here in a little bit.

“I don’t want to make it like they’re part of the camp. We’re just getting guys here early because our secondary site’s not open yet. We’re just having guys trickle in every day or two.”

Hyde said reliever Dillon Tate threw the ball “great” yesterday and he’s also been impressed with Cody Carroll, who underwent back surgery last summer.

Hyde hasn’t announced his opening day starter, which is expected to be left-hander John Means, and he isn’t quite ready to go public with his decision.

Maybe on Thursday.

Maybe not.

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