The Orioles had two days off and a rainout over the first nine days of May, but the going is going to get a lot tougher.
Starting with Friday night’s weather-threatened series opener against the Los Angeles Angels at Camden Yards, the O’s are scheduled to play on 20 consecutive games — including an 11-game stretch that features seven games against the New York Yankees and a four-game road series against the Cleveland Indians.
Manager Brandon Hyde acknowledged the magnitude of that challenge before Friday night’s game and said his team’s success over that period will depend on the starting pitchers continuing to put together the kind of outings that Andrew Cashner, John Means and Dylan Bundy have produced over the past week.
For the moment, Hyde added that he has no plans to alter the rotation or augment the bullpen, but it stands to reason that there will be a roster move or two over that span to make sure there are enough fresh arms for any occasion.
“I think we’re going to see how it goes,’’ Hyde said. “Play it by ear. We’re hoping that our starters can do what Cash did the other night and give us some length and, yeah, it’s wait and see right now.”
The club has been buoyed by some of the length provided by the starters recently. Cashner dueled Red Sox ace Chris Sale to a draw in Wednesday night’s dramatic extra-inning loss and Means gave up just three hits over seven innings in Monday’s series-opening victory.
Bundy delivered the best performance by any Orioles starter this season when he pitched into the eighth inning of the staff’s first shutout of the year last Saturday.
Hyde can only hope those performances prove to be contagious.
“Absolutely, I think guys feed off each other and guys are competing within the room,’’ he said. “If a guy goes out and gives six or seven innings the night before, you want to do the same thing the next night or better. That’s what a winning environment is. That’s what we’re hoping for is that guys try to outdo each other.”
The Orioles and Angels figure to be dodging raindrops throughout the weekend, but Hyde said — while it’s not entirely out of the question -- he is not inclined to turn to an “opener” strategy to deal with the uncertainty.
“I’ve never seen that,’’ he said. “We didn’t do it in Chicago. I've seen it against us. The weather is just so unpredictable that I don’t want to go into a game hoping something is going to happen or hoping something is not going to happen. I’d rather have my starter go, give him his regular routine; might have to get up in the second or possibly third inning.
“If the guy you open can’t get through the first and you have to go to somebody else. There are all kinds of factors, so I’d rather it just be the starter going out there, but you never know.”
COO Vidalin leaves Orioles
John Vidalin, who was hired as the Orioles' chief operating officer in July with a decorated resume from his time with the Miami Heat and San Francisco 49ers, has left the organization, the team confirmed.
Vidalin has returned to Miami for personal reasons, and according to Sports Business Journal, returned to the Heat as their chief commercial officer. He had previously worked with Miami as executive vice president and chief revenue officer.
When he was hired, Orioles executive vice president John Angelos touted him as "the ideal choice to oversee our talented business division in further developing our Orioles and Oriole Park brands in the years to come."
Vidalin began working with the Orioles in August and was tasked with "day-to-day operations of the Orioles' business departments, including revenue (ticket sales and corporate partnerships), branding, customer experience, ballpark operations, and event development," according to the initial press release.
The catch revisited
“I’m still a little salty,’’ he said on Friday. “I guess in 10 years or so I’ll look back on it differently. It was just a great play."
Hyde agreed. He said he took out his frustrations over the loss on some golf balls Thursday.
“I think I was over it last night,’’ he said. “Teed it up yesterday on the golf course. That helped me out. That was just a phenomenal play. What are you going to do? Great player makes a great play.”
Around the horn
The Orioles have caught 12 of the 20 base runners who have attempted to steal against them this season. Their 60% success rate leads the major leagues. Pedro Severino’s percentage is better than that. He has thrown out seven of 10 prospective base stealers, which means he’ll be getting fewer chances as word gets around.
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Baltimore Sun reporter Jon Meoli contributed to this article.