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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Rutschman era of the Orioles awaits its first win

The Orioles are 0-1 in the Adley Rutschman era, although it was hardly his fault.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles
Adley Rutschman: Cool. Other Orioles hitters: Less cool.
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

So, it turns out that Adley Rutschman is not going to singlehandedly fix what ails the Orioles. We all knew this, even if we preferred not to think about it while getting excited for what his debut represented for the future of the franchise. The team is still going to need some more guys who can hit well on a regular basis - and a bit better pitching, too. Both of these deficits were on display in the 6-1 loss in Rutschman’s debut. Check out Andrea’s recap of the game for the not-so-lovely totals.

Perhaps the next game of the Rutschman era will go better. It would be difficult - though not impossible - to be much worse. With Rutschman having caught in his night game debut and an afternoon game ahead, one would imagine he will serve as the designated hitter today, although who really knows. The Orioles were weird in waiting to the next-to-last game of a homestand to call him up, and weirder still for not announcing it until 11 hours before the game. They may continue to be weird.

With their 16-25 record, the Orioles are now on pace for a 63-99 season. That feels about right for the team that we have seen over the last month and a half or so. Some players have had good stretches. Others have simply been bad. There are pieces who feel like they could belong on a quality team and some whose placeholder status cannot be revoked in favor of a prospect fast enough.

Now that Rutschman is here, we might wonder who is going to be next? Are the Orioles going to be aggressive with Grayson Rodriguez, or will we not see him until the later months of the season? The interest in seeing Rodriguez may increase depending on how Spenser Watkins pitches in the series finale this afternoon. And guess who is pitching on the exact same turn in the rotation today for Norfolk? Yes, it’s Rodriguez.

Thanks to Friday’s walkoff victory, the Orioles can still steal the series from the Rays if they manage to win the finale. Pitching for the Rays in the 1:35 contest will be Corey Kluber, whose ERA of 4.29 would look decent in any year other than 2022.

Around the blogO’sphere

As Adley Rutschman joins the Orioles lineup, the future looks a lot more like the present (The Baltimore Sun)
Although I appreciate the optimism of this headline, I think we have at least a couple more promotions to go to make this proclamation.

Rutschman on his promotion, blocking out the noise, and more (School of Roch)
Adley Rutschman is one of those dudes where the more you read about what he says, the more impressive he seems. Fans got a nice individual moment for him in his debut even if the team sucked. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

Orioles, Means agree to two-year deal to avoid arbitration (
John Means’s season ended due to Tommy John surgery before he and the Orioles even reached an agreement on his salary. Though the team espouses a “file and trial” approach, they made an exception for a potential two-year deal with Trey Mancini and now have done the same with Means, who will make $5.925 million over the next two years.

Mancini on Rutschman’s arrival, Mountcastle on return from IL (Steve Melewski)
Teammates getting excited for Rutschman is one genre of story I have not yet gotten tired of. I guess we won’t be getting very many now that he’s actually here.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

You have to go all the way back to 2015 to find the most recent Orioles victory on May 22. On that occasion, the O’s beat the Marlins, 8-6, with Manny Machado driving in three runs and Caleb Joseph driving in a pair. This improved the team’s record to 19-20; they were not able to get back to a .500 record until hitting 30-30 a few weeks later.

There are a number of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2019-21 infielder Rio Ruiz, 2010-11 pitcher Rick van den Hurk, 2001 pitcher John Bale, and 1987/1990-92 pitcher Jose Mesa.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: electromagnet inventor William Sturgeon (1783), composer Richard Wagner (1813), Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle (1859), baseball Hall of Famer Al Simmons (1902), actor Laurence Olivier (1907), surgery namesake Tommy John (1943), speed skater Apolo Ohno (1982), and tennis #1 Novak Djokovic (1987).

On this day in history...

In 1455, the Wars of the Roses period of English history began with the (eventually First) Battle of St Albans, wherein Richard, the Duke of York, led a rebellious army to victory over a royal force. After the battle, King Henry VI was captured.

In 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, or the Corps of Discovery as it was known then, set out from St. Charles, Missouri, with the aim of exploring America’s new territory from the Louisiana Purchase.

In 1915, the volcano at Lassen Peak, California erupted. Until the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, this was the only volcanic eruption in the continental United States; the two taken together were the only eruptions here in the 20th century.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 22. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!