Rodriguez backs hype in O’s loss to Tigers

One of the most anticipated debuts this spring was that of MLB Pipeline’s No. 7 prospect, right-hander Grayson Rodriguez.

Firing on all cylinders last season, Rodriguez was ready to make his MLB debut in June until a lat strain halted his season for three months.  

Rodriguez was entered 2023 with an opportunity to make the big leqgue starting rotation, many expecting that to be the case when the season starts.  

The top prospect got the call today, and he did not disappoint, to say the least. He would throw two innings in which he faced the minimum, six batters. He struck out one, walked one and only threw 21 pitches, 12 for strikes.  

Rodriguez touched 99 mph and felt really strong with how today went. 

“Right now, my stuff is better than it was last year,” Rodriguez said.

Adley Rutschman, who caught Rodriguez today, was impressed by the young righty’s composure and presence on the mound.

“I love the confidence, and I think he’s always had great stuff, so if he says he has better stuff, then I’m really excited,” Rutschman said.

Spenser Watkins followed Rodriguez with two strong innings of his own. He retired all six batters he faced, two via strikeout, throwing 22 pitches, 15 for strikes. 

Joey Krehbiel followed and allowed five runs in 0.2 innings of work. He threw 33 pitches, 22 for strikes, but struggled to get batters out.

The Orioles’ offense accounted for seven hits, five walks and three runs but also struck out seven times. 

Rutschman led the way today, going 2-for-2 with a solo homer leading to an RBI and run and also walked to complete his day.

Terrin Vavra continues to stay hot this spring. He would go 1-for-2 with a triple, a run and a walk. He also started a double play at second base today.

Kyle Stowers and Ryan O’Hearn rounded out the hitting today, both collecting an RBI and a run.

The Orioles would go on to drop the game 10-3, their fourth straight spring loss. 

Side Notes:

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde says D.L. Hall probably won’t be stretched out enough to be a starter out of spring training. 

“Because he’s starting right now, he won’t be built up like a starter would be,” Hyde explained. “We’re going to build him as much as possible and then decide at that point what to do with him.”

Hall had his second bullpen session today, all fastballs. He will throw secondary pitches in the next session and will also throw live batting practice. He believes he can get into a game by the third week of March.

Tyler Wells will start Saturday’s game against Atlanta, Hyde announced.

Jackson Holliday continues turning heads this spring. Between his confidence, raw skills and swagger, he is showing why the Orioles see him as the shortstop of the future.

“Honestly, I don’t really feel all that much pressure,” Holliday said. “I don’t think about it. I’m just here to play baseball at the end of the day. It’s my job now. The No. 1 pick is in the past. Now, we’re just trying to get there as fast as possible.”

Today’s official game time was two hours and 47 minutes. So far, all five spring games have been less than three hours. 

Kyle Gibson makes his Orioles debut tomorrow, as the Birds take on the Pirates. Game time is set for 6:05pm from Ed Smith Stadium in sunny Sarasota.

Looking for the perfect way to show your love for the Baltimore Orioles? Look no further than Birdland Sports!

As a small business run by Orioles fans, Birdland Sports offers a great selection of unofficial merchandise that’s affordable and high-quality. From the popular “Birds Are Coming” tees to unique player cartoon shirts and World Series prediction designs, Birdland Sports has everything you need to support your team.

Plus, use the code BBStephen at checkout to get 10 percent off your order! Visit today to browse their collection and gear up for the season!

Who stood out to you for the O’s today? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SRJHeckman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: