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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where we’re getting antsy for Adley

While the Orioles continue to plummet, their potentially franchise-altering prospect remains stuck in Triple-A. Why, exactly?

2021 Sirius XM Futures Game Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It was only a few days ago that Orioles fans were anxiously circling May 16 on the calendar, pinpointing that as the date that Adley Rutschman, former #1 overall draft pick and current #1 prospect in baseball, would make his long-awaited major league debut.

Though the O’s never promised that the 16th would be the big day, it seemed to make a lot of sense. Rutschman, rehabbing from a spring triceps injury, had spent about one week at each minor league stop, climbing the ladder step by step from High-A Aberdeen to Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk. And the end of his first full week at Norfolk happened to coincide with the Orioles’ return to Camden Yards after a six-game road trip. The start of a week-long homestand, it seemed, was the perfect time to bring Rutschman to The Show.

Instead, what did that anticipated May 16 game actually bring? Pain. Another pitiful, punchless Orioles loss against a far superior Yankees team. And, most significantly, no Adley Rutschman.

Rutschman, for some reason, remains with the Tides, who begin a six-game series in Charlotte tonight. Perhaps Mike Elias and the front office aren’t convinced he’s back to full health. Perhaps they want him to improve his offensive performance at Triple-A (where he’s currently batting .194 with a .649 OPS in a nine-game sample size). Perhaps they want to hold back his debut until Friday night, when they’re likelier to get a big crowd in Baltimore. Or perhaps they have some morbid fascination with watching an Orioles lineup that regularly features four or five well below-average hitters, in much the same way one might enjoy watching a fiery train crash.

Still, this is an Orioles team that’s in dire need not only of an offensive boost, but of any kind of spark. It’s hard to think of anyone who would better provide both than the most heralded prospect in baseball. O’s fans have spent much of the past four years dreaming about the future. It’s fair to wonder when, exactly, that future will become the present.


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Austin Hays and Jorge Mateo may soon be back to help a lineup that, at the moment, is not major league caliber. Once those two return, and Ryan Mountcastle returns, and Rutschman comes up...well, hopefully we won’t be seeing a lot of three-hit, 11-strikeout O’s performances like last night.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Four players in Orioles history were born on this day, including Ozzie Virgil, who turns 90 years young today. An extra special happy birthday to him. If you don’t remember Virgil as an Oriole, it’s because his entire O’s career consisted of one plate appearance, in which he drew an intentional walk. Also born on May 17 were outfielder Jack Voigt (56) and the late right-handers Billy Hoeft (b. 1932, d. 2010) and Jim McDonald (b. 1927, d. 2004).

On this date in 1967, the Orioles crushed seven home runs, setting a new franchise record at the time. Paul Blair, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Andy Etchebarren, Sam Bowens, Boog Powell, and Davey Johnson did the honors, with the last four of those dingers all coming in a nine-run seventh inning that helped the O’s beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park, 12-8.

And today is the 26th anniversary of one of the most memorable home runs in Orioles history, Chris Hoiles’ ultimate grand slam to stun the Mariners at Camden Yards. With the O’s down by three in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, two outs, and a 3-2 count — and in a rain storm, no less — Hoiles’ incredible blast off Norm Charlton capped a ridiculous 14-13 win.