ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Left-hander DL Hall is joining the Orioles later today in St. Petersburg, Fla., with the expectation that he's going on the active roster prior to Saturday afternoon's game.
Manager Brandon Hyde said during his media dugout scrum that Hall is "going to be in the traveling party."
"We're going to get through tonight's game and see where we are from there," he said.
Hall, the No. 4 prospect in the system per MLBPipeline.com, has posted a 4.76 ERA and 1.486 WHIP in 18 starts with Triple-A Norfolk. He’s walked 44 batters in 70 innings but also struck out 114.
The Orioles haven't confirmed when Hall, 23, joins the pitching staff after he left the Tides, who are in Rochester. Also pending is what Hall’s role will be upon his arrival, whether he makes any starts or works out of the bullpen during a pennant race.
Again, the expectation is that he jumps into the rotation, but the club isn't elaborating.
"It's going to be, play tonight's game and see where we are roster-wise," Hyde said.
This is a delicate situation with Hall's arrival forcing a pitcher off the roster and likely removing a starter from the rotation. The Orioles are sensitive to the angst that a pending roster move can create within the clubhouse.
Hall started Sunday for the Tides and struck out eight batters in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs and five hits with three walks.
The Orioles selected Hall in the first round in 2017 out of Valdosta High School in Georgia. He was kept back at extended spring training this year to build up innings after making only seven starts in 2021 with Double-A Bowie due to a stress reaction in his left elbow.
Hall worked one inning against the Phillies in a late-March exhibition game and struck out two batters, with his fastball touching 100 mph. His 11 four-seamers averaged 99.1 mph while he retired the side in order.
The buzz over Hall only grew louder, even as he battled some command issues this season, running up pitch counts and walk totals while the Orioles waited for him to become more consistent.
Grayson Rodriguez, the first-round pick in 2018 and the No. 1 pitching prospect in the system, was expected to beat Hall to the majors, but he’s throwing bullpen sessions in Sarasota while recovering from a Grade 2 lat strain. He was back on a mound this morning.
Adley Rutschman is no longer the No. 1 prospect in baseball because he's the Orioles' starting catcher and already in the running for Rookie of the Year in the American League. Terrin Vavra is starting in left field tonight and has impressed at the plate, where he's batting .370/.455/.481 in 33 plate appearances. Kyle Bradish is back in the rotation.
More are coming, with outfielder Kyle Stowers banging on the door after getting a brief look in Toronto. Stowers is batting .273/.366/.552 with 28 doubles, three triples, 19 home runs and 76 RBIs in 89 games with Norfolk.
Hall gets his chance this weekend.
Baseball America ranks Hall as the No. 59 prospect in baseball, and MLBPipeline.com places him 62nd.
Austin Voth is starting tonight to begin a crucial series against the Rays. Hall could start Saturday if the Orioles choose to push back veteran Jordan Lyles.
The deep end of the pool for Hall is a major league debut with the Orioles in their first pennant race under the new regime. But his arm is electric and his arrival has been anticipated since he left the developmental list and rejoined Norfolk.
"We saw DL for a brief time in spring training," Hyde said. "Obviously, it's a very special arm, and excited for his future. So like I said, we'll see how tonight goes and we'll go from there."
Meanwhile, Tyler Wells is on the trip while recovering from soreness in his left oblique.
"I think he's getting closer to do more activity," Hyde said. "I'm not sure he's doing much baseball yet. He's feeling a lot better, though, and I think that's a great sign. Talking to him yesterday, the rehab stuff is ramping up, which is a great sign, and hopefully he's back with us sooner rather than later."