Orioles promote Rutschman to majors

The No. 1 prospect in baseball is coming to Baltimore today.

The Orioles are selecting the contract of catcher Adley Rutschman from Triple-A Norfolk, ending a wait that stretched beyond the patience of a fan base wondering when he’d finally debut.

Rutschman will report to Camden Yards this afternoon, wearing No. 35 and settling into a lineup that’s expected to carry him for many years to come.

Catcher Anthony Bemboom has been designated for assignment to create room on the 26 and 40-man rosters.

Rutschman, 24, was the first-overall selection in the 2019 draft, also the first for new executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias. He’s hit .282/.391/.488 in 179 games, with 38 doubles, three triples, 30 home runs and 110 RBIs in 778 plate appearances.

A right triceps strain prevented Rutschman from breaking camp with the team this spring. He was shut down for a period and worked out at extended spring training before the Orioles assigned him to High-A Aberdeen, where he went 6-for-15 in four games.

Three games at Double-A Bowie produced five hits in 12 at-bats and led to a return to Triple-A Norfolk. Rutschman appeared in 12 games before he was deemed ready to debut, going 10-for-43 and checking off a few important boxes.

Rutschman heated up at the plate with two home runs and an RBI single in his last three games. And he caught three consecutive nights without any discomfort in the arm.

Norfolk’s game was played in Charlotte last night with Rutschman on the bench.

Tonight’s debut is one of the most highly anticipated in franchise history, rivaling catcher Matt Wieters’ first game on May 29, 2009.

Robinson Chirinos now slips into more of a backup role behind Rutschman, chosen by Elias out of Oregon State University ahead of prep shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., who went No. 2 to the Royals and is their starting third baseman. Rutschman received a record $8.1 million signing bonus.

Rutschman was the first catcher to go No. 1 overall since the Twins chose Joe Mauer with the top pick in 2001.

Bemboom, signed to a minor league deal on March 13, batted .115/.207/.212 with two doubles and a home run in 59 plate appearances. He applied the tag to Wander Franco last night as the Rays’ shortstop tried to score the go-ahead run in the top of the 13th inning.

Ryan Mountcastle is expected to come off the disabled list this afternoon, necessitating another adjustment to the active roster.

None will be bigger than Rutschman's arrival.

Rutschman catching and batting sixth
Nevin producing with steadier playing time (plus K...
 

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