Baltimore Orioles: Sunday’s Announced Cuts Cause A Stir
The Baltimore Orioles announced their newest round of cuts Sunday morning. That announcement caused strong reactions among the fan base.
The Baltimore Orioles announced the latest round of spring training cuts Sunday morning. Eight players were either optioned to Norfolk (AAA) or reassigned to minor league camp. Per Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, the players cut were: Christopher Bostick and Gabriel Ynoa (assigned to MiLB camp), Cody Carroll, Austin Hays, Branden Kline, Yefry Ramirez, Anthony Santander and Steve Wilkerson (all optioned to Norfolk). The moves leave 39 players in spring camp.
The reaction among the Orioles fan base was hot, loud and in some cases, very strong. Fans were not happy at all that Hays, the team’s #4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, had been cut and were less happy with Santander being cut as well. Sadly, the other cuts were ignored in the firestorm.
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The reactions ran the gamut from “this team makes it harder and harder to root for them” to “he (Hays) got hosed” to it’s “a bit surprising”.
The cuts do mean that in all probability we are looking at an outfield of Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins, and Joey Rickard on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on March 28th. Admittedly, the announcement caught me by surprise as I personally thought both Hays and Santander would make the Opening Day roster.
The strong reactions were caused by the successful spring that both Hays and Santander had. Hays hit .351/ .385/ .892 with 13 RBIs in 12 games, while Santander hit .333/ .389/ .697 with seven RBIs in 18 games. Statistically, both were among the Orioles’ spring training leaders.
Even Hays himself was surprised by the decision:
General Manager Mike Elias had the following to say in regards to the cuts (per Roch Kubatko): “It’s important to prioritize the individual development, especially with players that are going to be centerpieces of our future here, & we’re going to err on what’s right for the particular players rather than experimenting or trying to get them on the roster early.” Elias also said, according to multiple reports, that service time had nothing to do with today’s decisions.
Manager Brandon Hyde echoed those sentiments.
All throughout spring training, the comments have indicated that the competition in camp was good and that the best 25 players would come north. Spring training stats, while often said to be of no real significance, indicated that Hays and Santander and even Cody Carroll (7.0 IP, seven games, 2.57 ERA, nine K, one BB) were among the best performers in camp. The fan base reacted accordingly this morning; they felt that these players were done wrong in being sent down.
The bottom line is that, as fans, we all must keep the big picture in mind. This rebuild is going to take time. Decisions will be made for the long-term and not the here-and-now; Elias said as much today.
The Baltimore Orioles are in good hands. We may not like all the decisions made but they are being made with the future in mind. Elias and Hyde are not Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter. As fans, we must #TrustTheProcess.