The Baltimore Orioles took another one on the chin this afternoon, this time in Lakeland against Detroit. However that shouldn’t make anyone forget Grayson Rodriguez’s starting today. Rodriguez’s line: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.
Rodriguez is MLB’s #2 rated pitching prospect. So this game was certainly of interest to a lot of people. It also featured Adley Rutschman behind the plate for the O’s, in perhaps a battery preview of the coming years. and Rutschman got the scoring started in the game with a solo homer in the first inning. Kyle Stowers would add an RBI-single in the fourth, and the Birds led, 2-0.
However the game changed quickly for the O’s. Tyler Nevin smacked a three-run homer for Detroit in the last of the fifth that gave them a 3-2 lead. Lipcius would follow with a solo shot, taking Detroit back-to-back.
Detroit would go on to bat around twice in the game. They put up five runs in the fifth, and another five in the seventh. The O’s would get an RBI-double fron Ryan O’Hearn in the last of the sixth, but that wasn’t nearly enough.
However Rodriguez was the story of the day. He performed like one would expect one of the top prospects in baseball to perform. Granted you do have to throw in that it was only over two innings. But he had a certain zip and finish on his pitches. In short, he looked “crisp.”
Rodriguez said after his outing that he felt good, and that he felt that he had made progress over the offseason:
It shouldn’t go unnoticed that Rutschman caught today, and homered. This is the future of Orioles baseball on display in the Florida Grapefruit League as we speak. And the rest of the league would do well to take note. Despite the final score, which as we know is irrelevant in these spring games.
The Orioles will return home to Sarasota tomorrow evening as the Pittsburgh Pirates come to Ed Smith Stadium. Kyle Gibson gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Vince Velasquez. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.