Good morning, Birdland!
This is going to be a huge day! Or at least, it’s sounding that way. News broke in the middle of the Orioles 7-2 win over the Rangers on Tuesday that top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez was getting called up to the majors. That hasn’t been confirmed by the team, and they still have not named a starter for today’s series finale in Arlington. But it sure seems like Rodriguez will be on the mound for today’s 2:05 first pitch.
The Orioles needed someone to step in following Kyle Bradish’s early exit with a foot injury on Monday. The bullpen had already been taxed over the weekend in Boston, so Tyler Wells stepped in to toss five innings of relief that day rather than forcing more relievers into fireman duty. But that left a gap in the rotation that the team now needs to fill. Austin Voth seemed like the most likely internal candidate, but Rodriguez is obviously a far more interesting choice.
In some ways, it makes a lot of sense for Rodriguez to be the pick. He’s already better than some of the arms in the Orioles rotation, and he was set to start on normal rest in Norfolk anyway. Why not just do it at the big league level instead? It will also be cool for the Texas native to make his debut just three hours from his home town.
But on the other hand, it’s also extremely confusing because we were told Rodriguez had things to work on in Norfolk. He made one start there and did not look like his dominant self. It is entirely possible he comes up for this one start and then goes back down, but that would be brash treatment of a top prospect. As Mike Elias has said many times, when the team calls up top prospects they do it with the intention of them staying up. But that hasn’t been the case for DL Hall, so maybe Rodriguez is next.
In any event, it makes this midweek game all the more intriguing. Not only are the O’s going for their first sweep of the young season, they could be showing off their new pitching star. A win under those circumstances would certainly make tomorrow’s Opening Day in Baltimore a whole lot more fun.
A ballpark district in Baltimore? As Maryland, Orioles mull Camden Yards upgrades, Atlanta suburb could be a model. | The Baltimore Sun
I suppose it isn’t the most absurd idea. Oriole Park and Ravens Stadium are already surrounded by parking lots. That space could be better used for actual businesses. I still don’t want it to be done with public money, but that ship has sailed.
Orioles could have gone in many pitching directions in Rangers series | Roch Kubatko
They are pretty fortunate with how things worked out this series. Obviously, the Bradish injury is bad, but the team has gotten nice performance from Wells and then Kyle Gibson to keep the bullpen in decent shape ahead of the trip home, with the off day soon to come.
G-Rod’s family, teammates: ‘We’re extremely excited’ | MLB.com
Included is a quote from Adley Rutschman, who I would not expect to catch today, regardless of whether Rodriguez pitches. He caught on Tuesday, a night game. It would instead be Anthony Bemboom, the 33-year-old that actually has less big league experience than Rutschman, although it has come across five different seasons.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Steve Clevenger turns 37. He spent parts of three seasons with his hometown Orioles from 2013-15 before he was dealt to the Mariners in a trade that landed Mark Trumbo in Baltimore.
- Winston Abreu is 46. His MLB career started with seven games out of the 2006 Orioles bullpen.
- Ron Hansen is 85 years old. From 1958 through ‘62, he played shortstop for the Orioles. Over those five seasons he compiled 5.1 bWAR.
- The late Roger Marquis (b. 1937, d. 2004) was born on this day. He played in just one major league game, which came on the 1955 Orioles.
- It is also a posthumous birthday for Fred Besana (b. 1930, d. 2015), who appeared in seven games as pitcher for the ‘56 Birds.
This day in O’s history
1966 - The Orioles release pitcher Don Larsen, the last remaining active major leaguer that had played for the St. Louis Browns.
1979 - O’s manager Earl Weaver wins his 1,000th game at the helm.
2013 - Chris Davis homers again, becoming only the fourth player in MLB history to leave the park in each of his team’s first four games of the season.