Grayson Rodriguez’s spring training debut in Monday’s game was good and then bad.
A perfect third inning and then four earned runs with only one out recorded in the fourth. It reaffirmed an opinion of mine: No matter how impressive or outstanding he has been on the way to being called the best pitching prospect in the minor leagues, everyone should relax.
He hasn’t even pitched above Double-A Bowie and has only pitched into the sixth inning down there on rare occasions, mainly for pitch count reasons, not because of being knocked out.
He needs seasoning and needs to be stretched out. He probably needs to split this season between Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk before hoping to be prepared to pitch, and pitch well, with any consistency whenever he is promoted to the Orioles.
As impressive as all the strikeouts are in the minor leagues, he needs to learn that, as Crash Davis said in “Bull Durham,” ground balls are Democratic, involving teammates and making more people happy.
Strikeouts are what drive that pitch count up and force him out of games too early. Only the very rare major league pitcher can strike out bunches of hitters and go seven innings or more, which helps save the bullpen and tends to win more games.
Turning from an Orioles prospect to someone who was almost an Oriole, Carlos Correa’s agreeing to a three-year contract with the Minnesota Twins was strange on a couple of levels.
The contract has an opt-out after each of the first two years. He can test the market next offseason and the offseason of 2023, but if he doesn’t like any offers, be assured of returning to his existing employer.
He will only be 30 when the deal is up, with plenty of career left for still higher paydays. The Orioles might have other chances to bid on him.
Translation: A year-to-year, shorter term contract that lets you try to leave whenever you want, yet promises you a home if you elect to stay put. Is baseball trending in that direction?
Orioles Executive VP and General Manager Mike Elias needed him for the long haul and wasn’t about to agree to lose him after each year of the deal.
News of the future, May 1, 2035: Adley Rutschman is promoted to the big leagues, a move 13 years in the making.
“It’s time to give him a chance,” said Mike Elias.
Rutschman was grateful for the long awaited promotion. “I will do my best to play well for my new teammates,” he said. “But it will be hard to measure up to the four ALCS and two World Series they’ve already won without me.”
Rutschman becomes the oldest rookie position player in MLB history. He will earn the newly agreed upon rookie minimum of $2 million, according to the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was settled on by owners and players after the strike of 2030.
What do you think of Rodriguez’s first outing and Correa’s new deal? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter! And, make sure to use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content to show your Birdland swag!
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