Well, you can’t say that this Orioles organization doesn’t have a flair for the dramatic.
On Wednesday manager Brandon Hyde poured cold water on news-hungry fans’ hopes, telling reporters the team would bring up No. 1 MLB prospect Adley Rutschman “when they feel like he’s ready.”
On Friday night, our Tyler Young looked to be right on the money when he wrote:
You know what would help the Orioles win more often? Promoting their über-prospect catcher. But that hasn’t happened, at least not yet, and there is no indication that such a move is on the immediate horizon.
Then at 8:00 am on Saturday, Orioles twitter casually dropped this little bomb:
Now, Birdland is running around with its collective hair on fire. IT’S ADLEY TIME!! Usually, after any Oriole does something spectacular, like hit a grand slam or make a home-run robbery catch or something, I always check MLB.com for news of it, and always in vain. But I will long remember an MLB.com front page that looks like this:
Why now, with 11 hours’ notice, in the middle of a homestand, with the Preakness running? Who knows? Who cares? IT’S ADLEY TIME!
Oh right, there’s a game to be played tonight. It’s never easy against Tampa Bay. But tonight there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful, as Kyle Bradish (1-1, 5.06 ERA, 22 K) and Tampa lefty Jeffrey Springs (1-1, 1.66 ERA, 20 K) do battle on the mound. By my count, Adley has caught Bradish eight times in his career—once in Double-A Bowie, seven times in Triple-A Norfolk, the most recent on October 1, 2021. So far, after just four MLB starts, Bradish is showing exciting swing-and-miss stuff, and I can’t wait to see this battery at work tonight.
Adley will be wearing the No. 35 (nope, still not retired, though tonight I’m not particularly crunchy about it), and hitting sixth. Also Ryan Mountcastle is back from a wrist injury!
Two straight nights ending with walkoff bombs and the No. 1 prospect arriving, all in one weekend? I can’t remember a time I’ve been this excited about Orioles baseball.
Let’s go O’s!
Orioles Starting Lineup
- Cedric Mullins, CF
- Austin Hays, LF
- Anthony Santander, RF
- Trey Mancini, 1B
- Ryan Mountcastle, DH
- Adley Rutschman C
- Tyler Nevin, 3B
- Rougned Odor, 2B
- Jorge Mateo, SS
Kyle Bradish, RHP (1-1, 5.06 ERA)
Rays Starting Lineup
- Kevin Kiermaier, CF
- Yandy Díaz, 3B
- Ji-Man Choi, 1B
- Randy Arozarena, LF
- Harold Ramirez, DH
- Vidal Bruján, 2B
- Brett Phillips, RF
- Francisco Mejía, C
- Taylor Walls, SS
Jeffrey Springs, LHP (1-1, 1.66 ERA)