Manager Brandon Hyde will continue to lead the Orioles through their massive rebuilding effort.
The team extended Hyde last offseason through at least 2022, as first reported by The Athletic, and he’s excited about the prospect of leading the club for at least another year.
“I can’t comment on my contract status, but I’m very excited to come back,” Hyde said after the Orioles lost to the Phillies 4-3 on Sept. 22.
The club will likely evaluate Hyde’s staff in the weeks to come, but most should return:
- Pitching coach and director of pitching: Chris Holt
- Hitting coach: Don Long
- Major league field coordinator and catching instructor: Tim Cossins
- First-base coach and outfield instructor: Anthony Sanders
- Third base coach and infield instructor: Tony Mansolino
- Assistant pitching coach: Darren Holmes
- Assistant hitting coach: José Hernández
- Major league coach: Fredi González
The Orioles had struggles in many areas this season, especially with their pitching, but continuity could be key for this young team to evolve.
The Orioles lost more than 100 games for the third consecutive time the league played a full schedule. Hyde has dealt with adversity since he took over a team that lost a franchise-record 115 games in 2018.
The team’s roster might not look drastically different in 2022 when the club needs to start showing some improvement and that it’s heading in the right direction.
All of the club’s players are under team control with the exception of starter Matt Harvey and reliever Fernando Abad. The club is not likely to retain either of those players.
Harvey was transferred to the 60-day injured list in early September and finished the season 6-14 with a 6.27 ERA in 28 starts. Abad is 35 years old, and while he had some positive moments, the Orioles will likely want to give their younger relievers an opportunity.
In addition to John Means, the team’s starting rotation candidates include Keegan Akin, Bruce Zimmermann, Alexander Wells and Mike Baumann. Dean Kremer and Chris Ellis could also push for a job. The Orioles’ top pitching prospect, Grayson Rodriguez, still needs some seasoning in the minors.
As a result, the Orioles could also add a veteran or two to compete for a job in spring training.
“Frankly, the pitching staff that we have here right now, there’s no one on the staff making more than $1 million and that’s Matt Harvey, who was brought in on a minor-league deal and made the team out of spring training,” GM Mike Elias said earlier this season. “That’s the reality of it. These guys are young, inexperienced pitchers making the minimum. That’s what we did going into this season.
“So I think we knew that we were going to be cycling through guys and experiencing some of the pains that we’re experiencing right now. But looking at the organization as a whole, it’s something that we’re very mindful about. Obviously, we need pitching. I am very impressed with the young pitchers that we have in our minor leagues.”
Catcher Adley Rutschman, the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball, should make his Orioles debut next season and that will certainly create some buzz.
The Orioles already have some depth with young talent in the everyday lineup.
Center fielder Cedric Mullins will receive down-ballot AL MVP votes after a breakout year. First baseman Ryan Mountcastle has hit 31 homers and is in consideration for AL Rookie of the Year. When Austin Hays is healthy, he is a fixture in the lineup and key corner outfielder.
A priority this offseason could be working on a contract extension with DH/1B Trey Mancini, who is eligible for free agency after 2022.
Ramón Urías has played well enough to get another shot as an everyday infielder. Jorge Mateo will likely have a chance to win a big-league job in spring training. Richie Martin and Jahmai Jones will also get another opportunity, but they have to show they can hit major-league pitching.
Elias is confident that Hyde is the best man to lead the club in 2022.
“We hand-picked him for this job because of his skills, because of the relationship that we felt, because of his references, because of his broad perspective across baseball operations from the dugout all the way to the Gulf Coast League and everything in between,” Elias said. “He is a partner with us in this multi-year project. We all knew this would be a multi-year project. We knew there were going to be some rough years. He is not being judged on where we are in the standings in 2021.”
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