Grayson Rodriguez talks about his two-inning outing at Bowie

BOWIE, Md. – In his second rehab outing tonight, Orioles top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez allowed one run over two innings, throwing 40 pitches for the Double-A Bowie Baysox against Richmond on a cloudy and drizzly night at Prince George’s Stadium.

Rodriguez used all his pitches, with his fastball topping at 96 mph. He reached 98 in the first inning of his outing last week for High-A Aberdeen.

He rolled through the top of the first, getting the Flying Squirrels, a San Francisco affiliate, 1-2-3 on 11 pitches. His outing began with back-to-back strikeouts on secondary pitches. It looked like the first came via a slider and the second a changeup. A groundout to third completed the three-up-and-out inning.

With one out in the Richmond second, third baseman Casey Schmitt hit a breaking ball that was up in the zone out to left for a double. He advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a Rodriguez wild pitch for a 1-0 Richmond lead. Rodriguez then walked two straight batters, as he had in his second inning last week, and then ended the second on a strikeout as he reached the 40-pitch count for the night.

Lefty Cade Povich replaced him to start the Richmond third as Rodriguez threw five more pitches in the Bowie bullpen.

Rodriguez said he expects to pitch again on Sunday for Bowie here at Prince George’s Stadium in the finale of this six-game series.

“That was definitely good,” Rodriguez said of his outing tonight. “Obviously, knew I was going to get to go a little bit longer than last. Obviously, the two walks hurt the pitch count again, but we were able to get up in the bullpen and finish a third. So really on schedule.”

Rodriguez went 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA this year in 11 starts for Triple-A Norfolk before leaving a game June 1 with a Grade 2 right lat strain. With Norfolk he recorded a 2.25 walk rate, 12.86 strikeout rate and 0.84 WHIP over 56 innings.

He made his first outing since that June 1 game last Thursday, Sept. 1 for High-A Aberdeen. Over 1 1/3 innings he allowed one hit and no runs with two walks and one strikeout. He threw 31 pitches, 17 for strikes, touching 98 mph in the first inning of the outing.

Rodriguez liked his outing tonight a bit better than the one in Aberdeen.

“Definitely felt the stuff was better,” he said. “The two walks don’t really tell everything, but I think I was in the zone more with changeups. Heaters were better up in the zone. I know at times we lost the feel. Had a few up above the zone. But really being in the zone in total, I guess, (was a positive),” he added.

He said the injury is now way in his rear-view mirror.

“I think this is the best my arm’s ever felt, honestly, since I was in high school," Rodriguez said. "The long break and doing rehab, my arm is stronger than it was before. Really, that is the positive I’m taking away from it."

Asked if he's ready for the majors, should the call come, Rodriguez replied: "Absolutely."




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