Mark Teixeira

Orioles pass starting torch to rookie Austin Hays in effort to see if he can keep it in 2018

Orioles pass starting torch to rookie Austin Hays in effort to see if he can keep it in 2018

Typically, Austin Hays spends whatever part of batting practice he's not swinging under the turtle shell frantically chasing down every ball hit his direction in the outfield. But on Thursday, he spent that time hunched behind a screen near third base with Buck Showalter as the Orioles manager had a conversation he uses as a barometer for how a rookie is getting along.

As the Orioles move into the final week of the season with Hays as their everyday right fielder, while the more seasoned players who manned that spot all year move aside for him, Showalter wanted to gauge how the rookie outfielder was assessing things. He liked what he heard.

"I had my first kind of talk...

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