Sarasota, Fla. — The Orioles don’t plan to include top pitching pitcher Grayson Rodriguez in their Opening Day roster, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation told The Baltimore Banner, delaying the right fielder’s long-awaited debut with Baltimore.
The decision on where Rodriguez would start the season was one of the biggest question marks during spring training, but a source with direct knowledge said the gut feeling was that Rodriguez wasn’t consistent enough over his five starts.
Rodriguez has allowed 11 runs in his last 10 2/3 innings of the spring, falling victim to one inning from each of his last three starts that collapsed on him.
Over the winter, executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said he hoped Rodriguez would break camp with the Orioles. Rodriguez might have already made his debut last season had he not been suffering from a muscle strain during what was believed to be his final start with Triple-A Norfolk. This injury held Rodriguez until late in the 2022 season when he returned to the minor leagues in September.
He entered the spring with high expectations and displaying high-level “stuff” that has propelled him into the top prospects’ rankings since he was selected in the first round of the 2018 draft. Rodriguez’ changeup and high-speed fastball were praised by teammates and coaches. This spring, catcher James McCann said Rodriguez had “a chance to be very special,” and Hyde added, “He’s going to be a really good player in this league for a long time.”
Rodriguez was dominant in Triple-A last season, earning a 2.20 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings pitched. His stay this time in Norfolk is not expected to be long, but for now, the 2023 season will start from here.
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