Orioles promoting Mountcastle for tonight's game

The long-awaited arrival of prospect Ryan Mountcastle to the majors is happening tonight.

The Orioles are recalling Mountcastle from the alternate camp site in Bowie, according to an industry source. He's going to be in uniform for tonight's game against the Red Sox at Camden Yards.

The team hasn't announced the move or offered confirmation.

Mountcastle is the organization's No. 5 prospect per Baseball America and MLBPipeline.com and the most recent Most Valuable Player of the International League with the minors shut down this summer. He appeared in 127 games with Triple-A Norfolk in 2019 and batted .312/.344/.527 with 35 doubles, a triple, 25 home runs and 83 RBIs in 553 plate appearances. He walked 24 times and struck out 130.

Mountcastle-Swings-Orange-Intrasquad-Sidebar.jpgThe Orioles wanted Mountcastle to work on his plate discipline and pitch recognition, without losing his aggressiveness, and also get more comfortable playing left field - his fourth position since becoming the 36th overall pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.

Selected as a shortstop out of Paul J. Hagerty High in Florida, Mountcastle was moved to third and first base before the Orioles decided to experiment with him in the outfield last summer.

Tides manager Gary Kendall has been watching Mountcastle's progress at Norfolk and later at the alternate camp.

"I think he's looking fine," Kendall told MASNsports.com earlier this month. "I think every day he goes out there, I see improvement because a lot of it is about his routes and his angles, his glove position and first step, and all those things are being addressed during our practices. They're worked on in our practices and in batting practice and during our game situations.

"They're the things that, he needed innings. Last year, when the change was made to more or less go with left field primarily, it was later in the season, maybe a month left to go in the year, and he really adapted well and made some nice plays. But I see more confidence and I see a much stronger arm, better spin on the ball when he lets it go, more finish. I've been pleased.

"Certainly, he knows what he's up against and he knows what it takes to be a good major league outfielder, so I think he needs to keep continuing to put that work in. But I definitely see a lot more out of him than I did last year. And with the thought of losing this season and seeing the gains that he's made since we started this program, I've been impressed with it."

The Orioles don't lose a year of service time based on the lateness of his promotion, which has been anticipated for weeks.

Because he's on the 40-man roster, the only corresponding move involves the 28-man roster in order to create room for him.

The Orioles could option Dwight Smith Jr., who's been playing left field but shifted last night to designated hitter. They promoted infielder Ramón Urías Tuesday as middle infield insurance and he struck out last night as a pinch-hitter in his major league debut.

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