Baltimore Orioles' manager, Brandon Hyde talks about the addition of infielder Alcides Escobar. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun video)
SARASOTA, FLA. — Orioles manager Brandon Hyde finally got a look at Alcides Escobar on Wednesday as the veteran shortstop participated in his first full-team workout. But it was a conversation they had during Escobar's stretch that stood out to Hyde in terms of what the 32-year-old glove man can bring to the unsettled roster.
"He looks great,” Hyde said. “He's in great shape, and he's got over nine years service time and he's played on great teams in Kansas City, and those Kansas City teams, too, he was surrounded with awesome teammates, a great clubhouse. I know a lot of the guys that were on those teams. I was fortunate to be with Wade Davis and Ben Zobrist for parts of the last few years, I know [Mike] Moustakas and [Eric] Hosmer. Just really quality people and great teammates, and we talked a little bit about that during stretch."
Escobar, who signed a minor league free-agent contract with a major league camp invite Saturday, reported to Orioles camp Tuesday and worked out Wednesday for the first time. He did so as an early leader at the shortstop position, as the team designated fellow shortstop Hanser Alberto for assignment Tuesday to make room for left-hander Josh Osich.
Rule 5 infielders Richie Martin and Drew Jackson, plus minor league invitees Zach Vincej and Jack Reinheimer are also in the shortstop mix.
Though Escobar noted he's not so old as to not be able to contribute anything but wisdom to young players, his signing and Hyde's description of him fits some with what the team seems to have sought with its recent additions. Veteran outfielder Eric Young Jr. said he was looking forward to being a resource for the young outfield group as well.
But the fact that Hyde was focused on what Escobar can bring to the culture is fitting considering what he's tried to do all camp. Seemingly every decision he has made has been with the idea of fostering a positive and comfortable atmosphere and keeping the environment a light one where players could learn, and he believes Escobar will fit well into that.
"He's going to add so much from that experience and being around that kind of environment," Hyde said. "It's great to get him around our young guys."