The top-ranked pitching prospect in baseball made his latest outing last night and right-hander Grayson Rodriguez threw well for Triple-A Norfolk at home in a no-decision versus Jacksonville.
Will his next start be with the Orioles?
A lot of fans would be excited to see that. Whether the Orioles are in or out of the playoff race with a few games to go, it would be a sight to see, the No. 4 ranked prospect in baseball joining the big club and no doubt there would be Adley Rutschman at the plate to catch him.
With just two games left in the Norfolk season, Rodriguez will end his Triple-A campaign, going 6-1 with a 2.20 ERA over 14 starts. In 69 2/3 innings this season at Triple-A he allowed 44 hits and just two homers with 21 walks and 97 strikeouts.
Last night versus Jacksonville, he went five innings allowing three hits and one run (on his second homer allowed) with three walks and six strikeouts, throwing 89 pitches.
Would there be any downside to having Rodriguez make a start for the Orioles to end his year? Probably not too much, unless there would be any concern if he got hit hard and went into his offseason off that outing.
Rodriguez has only thrown 75 2/3 innings all this season counting his rehab appearances with high Single-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie also. He could use a few more innings and could get a few more with the Orioles. Or the club could get him on an Arizona Fall League roster to add a few.
Finishing his year with closer to or at about 100 innings would set him up better to be a starter for the 2023 Orioles that would have a chance to pitch through the full season. Or dare we say, into October of 2023.
But no matter what happens for Rodriguez in the near future, his long-term future still looks bright, and it has to be exciting for the Orioles that he got back from his lat injury to finish his season healthy and throwing well. When he got hurt June 1, there was doubt he would return at all this year.
The Tides won last night’s game 5-1 over Jacksonville to improve to 74-74. Norfolk has won 13 of its last 19 and is now 16-8 this month.
Jordan Westburg’s three-run double in the last of the eighth broke a 1-1 tie and gave Norfolk a 4-1 lead. And then Westburg scored on Colton Cowser’s double to left.
Westburg is now batting .266/.356/.501/.857 with 39 doubles, three triples, 27 homers, 96 runs and 106 RBIs. Cowser in 136 games for three teams in 2022 is batting .280/.406/.470/.876 with 35 doubles, two triples, 19 homers, 66 RBIs and 113 runs. That runs scored total is the third-highest in all of minor league baseball.
Another five-homer game: For the sixth time this year and second against Boston, the Orioles hit five homers in a game. They bashed five in their 14-8 road trip opening win at Fenway Park last night.
They also hit five May 4 vs. Minnesota, June 7 vs. the Cubs, June 27 at Seattle, Aug. 19 vs. Boston and Sept. 3 vs. Oakland.
Anthony Santander hit two homers for the second time in three games and now has 31 for the year. He joins Eddie Murray and Ken Singleton as the only switch-hitters in O's history to hit 30 or more. He produced his ninth career multi-homer game.
The Orioles are 3.5 games behind Seattle, 4.0 back of Tampa Bay and 6.5 behind Toronto. Seattle, which has lost seven of 10 games, will play its last nine games at home with three each against Texas, Oakland and Detroit.