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Friday Bird Droppings: Where Adley and Grayson put on a show

The Orioles’ potential superstar battery got off to a great start in their first spring pairing.

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Baltimore Orioles Photo Day
Grayson Rodriguez had every reason to smile after yesterday’s performance.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Adley Rutschman. Grayson Rodriguez.

Grayson Rodriguez. Adley Rutschman.

In whatever order you want to put them, the two are likely going to be mentioned in the same breath for a long time to come. Adley, last spring’s #1 prospect in baseball and now a budding superstar, who has already drastically changed the franchise’s fortunes for the better despite less than a year in the bigs. And Grayson, last spring’s #1 pitching prospect in baseball, who now sits on the doorstep of the major leagues and could develop into the Orioles’ most dominant ace in decades. With any luck, the two will form an exhilarating, must-watch battery in Baltimore for at least the next six years — and hopefully longer.

Yesterday, the two flashed their enormous potential. Rodriguez, making his spring debut, mowed down the opposing Tigers over two breezy innings, facing the minimum six batters without allowing a hit. More importantly, he looked fully healthy, proving last year’s ill-timed lat strain is behind him.

Rutschman, meanwhile, reached base in all three of his plate appearances, collecting a home run, a single, and a walk. Encouragingly, the switch-hitter hit his dinger batting right-handed against a southpaw, a good sight to see after Rutschman struggled to a woeful .174/.287/.265 line in 115 PAs against lefties last year. If he can successfully shore up the one main weakness in his game, then look out, world.

The rest of yesterday’s contest wasn’t quite as memorable for the Orioles, who lost, 10-3. It’s been an especially rough spring for Joey Krehbiel, who was torched for five runs, including a homer by former Oriole Tyler Nevin. Still, the Orioles’ fortunes for 2023 and beyond don’t depend on the likes of Joey Krehbiel. They depend on the Adleys and Graysons of the world, and that duo’s first start together could hardly have gone better.


Grayson Rodriguez pitches 2 no-hit innings vs. Tigers -
Rodriguez made such quick work of the Tigers that he had to simulate a third inning in the bullpen to finish getting his work in. No word on how many more strikeouts he racked up in his simulated inning.

Five takeaways from the Orioles’ first 5 spring training games – Baltimore Sun
Nathan Ruiz offers his thoughts about the Birds’ spring so far, including that the backup first baseman competition “might actually be compelling.” Strong disagree. I’m going to be annoyed if someone like Kyle Stowers gets bumped off the roster to make room for a journeyman, light-hitting first baseman.

Rosenthal: Overloaded with star prospects, Orioles need to determine how to escalate the team’s rise - The Athletic
Ken Rosenthal stopped by O’s camp to chat with some prospects, and offers a fair assessment of the team’s quiet offseason and what might happen next. But I was told he hates the Orioles!

Hall healthy again but unlikely to be in Opening Day rotation - School of Roch
The Orioles’ crowded rotation competition might be down one candidate, as DL Hall’s ramp-up from an early-spring injury has put him behind the pack. Moving him back to the bullpen and letting him air it out as a late-inning guy wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

O’Hearn hopes his experience helps him win Orioles’ job -
I suppose experience being a subpar player still counts as experience.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Six former Orioles were born on this day: first baseman Dilson Herrera (29), infielder José Rondón (29), right-handers Jorge Julio (44) and Bobby Muñoz (55), and the late righties Francisco de la Rosa (b. 1966, d. 2011) and Jesse Jefferson (b. 1949, d. 2011).

On this day in 2014, the Orioles agreed to a minor league deal with two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana. The then-34-year-old lefty was far removed from his days of dominance, hadn’t pitched in two years, and had undergone two shoulder surgeries, but he was a low-risk option who the O’s hoped would be available by midseason. Santana, though, tore his Achilles tendon in an extended spring training start in June and never pitched again. Much like Félix Hernández, he’ll go down as a footnote in O’s history.