Adley Rutschman will have two home games on his major league resume before the Orioles hit the road again, his debut coming last night in front of an enthusiastic crowd that reacted to his every movement.
Rutschman will catch again Monday night in the Bronx after serving as designated hitter today. There was speculation that he might have his contract selected on the trip.
“It was tricky timing-wise,” executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said this morning while sitting in the dugout. “We wanted to get him up as soon as possible. I think we had hopes that he would break with the team in Sarasota. We had a very ill-timed injury. With it being on his throwing arm and him missing the entirety of spring training, it was not something we could rush. And so there was a very careful rehab process in Sarasota and then an equally careful workload and at-bat buildup in the lower minors, mid-minors, and then eventually Norfolk.
“Luckily, he seemed to hit the ground running from a hitting perspective, didn’t get a lot of indications that his timing was off from anything that he did at any of the three levels, and it was really just more about kind of building up the catching to ultimately checking the box of doing three days in a row, which is something that, if he had a normal spring training, (manager) Brandon Hyde is doing back-to-backs with the catchers, and Adley just missed all that. So, once that box was checked, we figured it was a live ball and then looking at the schedule, Yankee Stadium didn’t seem like a great option for a debut.
“It just seemed like he was ready and this weekend made the most sense. And now he will get the experience of going to play in Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, which is cool for him, because that’s life in the AL East, then come back for a nice homestand around Memorial Day. So, I think the timing worked out as well as it could have given that we were constrained by his injury.”