Orioles GM Opens Up on Delayed Jackson Holliday Call-Up: ‘I’m Not Perfect’

Mike Elias

Getty Orioles GM Mike Elias in 2023.

Fans waited 633 days for the Baltimore Orioles to call up Jackson Holliday. General Manager Mike Elias finally made it happen on April 10.

He talked to The Baltimore Banner on April 12 about the timing of the team’s decision, and why they waited to bring Holliday aboard.

“I’m not perfect at these decisions, and sometimes you have a borderline decision,” Elias told The Baltimore Banner.

Elias says he follows the safest route in decisions like Holliday’s call-up.

“I’ll tend to err on the side of the one that’s more easily correctable, reversible, and that’s kind of where we are right now with this case.” Elias continued. “But we wanted him up here on this 2024 team because we think he’s going to be a big help for this 2024 team, and we think this team has as much potential as any in baseball.”

Holiday’s performance in Spring Training showed fans all they needed to see.

He slashed .311/.354/.600 for two home runs and six RBIs in 45 at-bats.

Elias and Orioles management wanted to see that level of play sustained in Triple-A before bringing him to the majors.

“We felt we could err in that direction with the ability to reverse it pretty easily,” Elias said. “And I would characterize his two weeks — or 10 games — down there as reassuring [about] what we saw in spring training,” Elias said. “The trends we saw in spring training were carrying over into the regular season.”

Baltimore’s decision to call up Holliday was calculated. The same is said for any team calling up the number one prospect in baseball.

Fans couldn’t be happier with Holliday on the team. The 20-year-old has enjoyed a series of festivities in his honor since he got the call.

Now he just needs his first MLB hit.

Holliday Hitless Through 3 Games

Through three games with the Baltimore Orioles, Jackson Holliday is 0-for-11 at the plate with seven strikeouts and one RBI.

His .000 OPS qualifies him as one of the worst hitters in baseball. But he’s not concerned.

“It’s three games,” Holliday told Luke Jones of BaltimorePositive.com after Baltimore’s blowout loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, his home debut at Camden Yards.

“It feels like longer, but it’s just three games,” Holliday continued. “To be able to adjust is the most important part about this game because you fail a lot. I was able to do that in spring training.”

Elias predicted a slow start for Holliday when he spoke with The Baltimore Banner.

“I think we bring a young kid up like Jackson, especially at age 20, we’re going to expect that he’s not going to be his best self right away,” Elias said. “It’s going to take him some time to adjust to the major leagues, and part of doing that early is hoping that we’ll be getting the benefit of that later in this 2024 season as he hits his stride.”

His arrival is the latest in a slew of Baltimore homegrown talents making it to the majors. But until he finds his footing on the diamond, it won’t truly feel real for fans.

Holliday Benched for 4th Game

Fans waiting for Jackson Holliday to get his first hit will have to wait another day, as Holliday gets the day off in the Orioles’ second of the series against the Brewers.

Team manager Brandon Hyde told reporters pregame that it’s just a day off, not a byproduct of his slow start at the plate.

“Just want to give him a little bit of a breather,” Hyde told The Baltimore Sun. “Just want him to breathe for a day.”

Hopefully that’s exactly what he needs.

Pandemonium may break out in Baltimore if the Orioles are still waiting on Jackson Holliday’s first hit in May or June.