The Orioles finalized their season-opening roster on Thursday, matching the 28-player group manager Brandon Hyde mentioned a day earlier. This, of course, did not include catcher Adley Ratschman, baseball’s top prospect, who suffered a right tricep strain just as major league spring training was underway.
After a multiweek shutdown period, Rutschmann, 24, Has progressed to hitting and throwing, but in the coming days while other teams will see their young stars make their major league debuts, the Orioles will have to wait for Reutsman to arrive. But executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias indicated on Thursday that he may not wait long after Rutschman returns to full health.
“My point of view is that he came to this camp with an inside track to make the team, and then unfortunately, he had to be dropped from camp because he flared up at the worst possible time,” Elias said on the video call. “As he returns to be a full-activity version of himself, and we understand that his time is back, I think he’s going to pick up where he left off, which is going to affect this team.” Had a very clear shot to do with it.”
In 123 games between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, Rutschman showed why he was the first overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, batting .285/.397/.502 with 23 home runs. He entered the camp as a non-roster invitee, potentially positioned as Baltimore’s starting catcher, though the question lingered on whether the Orioles would take him, even if he was in that position. prove worthy.
Major League Baseball’s free-agency structure will allow the Orioles to potentially secure an additional full season of team control over Ratschman if he spends at least two weeks off the major league roster this year, depending on the status of his progress. likely to be together. The league’s new collective bargaining agreement allows a player who has earned less than a full year of service time in his first season to finish in the top two of the American League or National League Rookie of the Year voting. Will be credited with one.
Reutschmann will have the ability to do so whenever he arrives, although he will have to contend with a slew of other prospects who will spend entire seasons in the majors. With the new CBA also providing teams that have the top prospects on their season-opening roster have the potential to earn additional picks, many players leave Rutsman behind — and in the eyes of some publications, before him — prospect. The year in the big leagues will open in the rankings. Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr drafted a pick in 2019 after Reutsman, who made the Kansas City Royals. Drafted first overall the following year, first baseman Spencer Torkelson broke camp with the Detroit Tigers. Outfielder Julio Rodriguez, second only to Ratsman in Baseball America’s potential rankings, is set to make his debut for the Seattle Mariners.
But the Orioles won’t have Reutsman until late April at the earliest. Elias said earlier this week that the catchers will play minor league games sometime this month, but the organization is quite cautious in the face of its reconstruction. But once he recovers and his time against live pitching returns, Reutschmann will be an Oriole.
“It really stinks that this happened, but it could have been worse,” Elias said. “He’s doing well and he was working here today and things seem to be running smoothly upwards, but we still have some benchmarks to check before sending him off to a colleague.”
Bradish ready to join Norfolk; slow play hall
After a four-inning mock outing on Thursday at the Orioles’ Twin Lakes Park complex Elias said right-hander Kyle Bradish will play his next innings with Triple-A Norfolk in Sarasota, Florida.
Bradish, Baltimore’s third-ranked pitching prospect, threw four scoreless innings with the Orioles this spring, effectively pitching in two-inning pairs against a lineup of New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies regulars.
The Orioles received from the Los Angeles Angels for starter Dylan Bundy in December 2019 as the top hand in a four-pitch return, Bradish, 25, one run not allowed in three Last year begins with Double-A Bowie before a mid-season clash at Norfolk. But he ended his tenure with five five-innings starts in which he had a 1.80 ERA.
Although Bradish is going for an ally, Elias said the Orioles will have left-hander DL Hall to continue his job at Sarasota. Ranked among the top overall pitching prospect at Baltimore’s Minor League Arms between Grayson Rodriguez and Bradish, Hall, 23, pitched 31 2/3 Innings in Double-A last year before shutting down with a minor stress fracture to his pitching elbow. In his last seven starts, he had a 3.13 ERA and dismissed more than a third of the opposing batsmen.
Hall made only one appearance this spring, following Bradish against the Phillies and dismissed two batters while his fastball touched 100 mph in a scoreless innings. But the Orioles want to develop him progressively so that he is available to pitch in their rotation at the end of the season as they manage their workload, with the hope that he will be able to limit him to four to five innings before returning to Bowie. will take in Or briefly joins a lower ally in the minors.
“It’s a bit more of a medically bad build-up and it’s more of a consideration of where his innings total is going for him this year,” Elias said. “We’re trying to get into a position where we don’t have to artificially shut down in September or something like that, so it’s going to be a little longer, but he looks great and feels healthy.”
Bauman in the Bullpen
Hyde indicated on Wednesday that the Orioles are considering multiple pitchers to start their fifth game of the year, but Elias said Thursday that it would not be No. 11 prospect Mike Bauman.
Bauman, 26, is one of eight Orioles on his first season-opening roster, having started last September with some respite. Elias said he would continue to work out of Baltimore’s bullpen for the start of this season, working as a long reliever and possibly being deployed for shorter stints if necessary.
Bauman’s fastball average of 93.6 mph during his major league tenure, according to Baseball Savant, but he got that pitch up to about 98 mph and sat at 96 mph in two grape league outings. That velocity is more in line with what he showed in 2019, when he shared the organization’s minor league Pitcher of the Year honor with Rodriguez. At the Orioles’ alternate site in 2020, he suffered a flexor strain in his right elbow, which slowed the start of the 2021 campaign.
In the latter part of his appearance this spring, Bauman entered with loaded bases and left them thus retiring seven of the eight Minnesota Twins. Hyde later said that he was the highlight of the game, an appearance in which the Yankees tagged him for a pair of home runs.
“His spring stats were a bit uneven, but it was a big development for us to see his arm action and velocity return from an alt site injury in 2020,” Elias said. “It’s time for him to go. He’s 26 1/2 or something like that, but he’s ready to do that in the major leagues, and he’s very upfront about that, and we’re going to give him the ball in the major leagues.” Ready to go and see where it goes. He may be someone who becomes a starter for us in the long run, but he is also someone who has the stuff to be effective with a ‘pen’.
McCoy traded for cash
The Orioles traded minor league shortstop Mason McCoy to the Mariners for a cash consideration on Thursday. McCoy, 27, had his sixth round in 2017. A career .267/.331/.376 minor league hitter, McCoy was on the roster on Norfolk’s opening day, but did not appear in a game for the Tides this year.