Orioles Preview - Page 25 - Rebuilding Crew (4)

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Rebuilding Crew (4)

denying a hire had been made while news of Hyde’s selection flashed across the television screen on MLB Network. When it was formalized, the work was only beginning for the front-facing trio of Elias, Mejdal and Hyde.

 

They had to fill out a major league coaching staff and try to supplement the minor league staff with coaches whose visions more aligned with some of the progressive practices of Houston’s farm system. The Orioles hired minor league pitching coordinator Chris Holt away from the Astros, and he could turn out to be a prominent addition given Houston’s pitching development success.

 

In early January, Koby Pérez was hired away from the Cleveland Indians as senior director of international scouting, addressing what Elias believed was one of two immediate areas of deficiency. Mejdal said the most important thing on his agenda at the moment is to “create that [analytics] department and get it up to speed and make it state of the art.”

 

WHAT NOW?

 

No one is promising results, not with a young team that’s mostly intact after last year’s club-record losing season. But Hyde went about establishing quickly that things would at least be different. His camp was one he didn’t see as remarkable, but players raved about how much more comfortable they feel to be themselves and make the kinds of mistakes that lead to improvement. Hyde doesn’t take satisfaction in that, but knows what will constitute a good year.

 

“I really want our guys to just want to be a real competitive team, where guys play for each other, they play hard, they play to win every night,” Hyde said. “Then, I’ll feel good. But I just want this group to take ownership of not only their careers but our team, and to watch it just grow and improve.”

 

Players, so far, have bought in on some of the analytics-driven concepts Luhnow and company implemented in Houston.

 

They’ve looked at how the league changed and in some ways passed them by, and welcome anything to help their careers and help their team win. Mejdal said the front office’s success with such practices has been so visible that it has has made things easier to implement with the Orioles.

 

But the Orioles are seeking a whole organization where such practices drive success. That’s why Hyde has integrated minor league coaches into major league camp more extensively, and why the hope in the Warehouse is scouting and player development will now be on the same page. Success in such systems in Houston and Chicago, as well as with other teams, is why the Orioles installed this trio to create that in Baltimore.

 

“That is the only way for a team like ours to have a sustained chance at making the playoffs over several years across a decade,” Elias said.

 

“We’ve got our work cut out for us. But I feel like having the group that we have, and some of the edges that I think we bring to the table, we’ve got a real shot. But people understand that we’re trying to do this the right way. It needs to be done the right way.”

 

jmeoli@baltsun.com
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