Grayson Rodriguez was the next man up.
The Orioles optioned Rodriguez while making their final rounds of cuts in spring training, viewing him as the sixth pitcher for a five-man rotation. A spot opened with Kyle Bradish going on the 15-day injured list this morning with a right foot contusion, and Rodriguez flew into Texas last night.
How Rodriguez fared in Friday’s start with Triple-A Norfolk wasn’t a factor in the club’s decision. The organization’s top pitching prospect allowed three runs (two earned) and walked four Durham batters in four innings, but he was the choice under these circumstances.
Rather than start the fifth game of the season in Texas, which seemed to be the original plan before the surprising camp cut, Rodriguez had a brief stay in Triple-A and arrived a day later for his major league debut.
Rodriguez would have pitched Thursday for the Tides, with Drew Rom going tonight. Bruce Zimmermann and Spenser Watkins already made their first appearances over the weekend and weren’t available.
Only pitchers who are injury replacements can join the Orioles before April 14, based on the option rules.
The Rangers are viewed by the Orioles as one of the teams that will battle them for a wild card berth. Special emphasis is placed on their head-to-head meetings. They’re banking on Rodriguez and available relievers behind him to provide the best chance at a sweep.
The Orioles are expected to keep Rodriguez in the rotation for his next turn during the upcoming homestand. This isn’t viewed as a one-and-done. The option rule pretty much guarantees it anyway.
Bradish is expected to be ready when he’s eligible to return while the Orioles are in D.C. The results of the tests on his foot, including X-rays Monday, were encouraging.
They’ll have to figure out what to do when he's back and they have six starters.
One issue at a time.
Adley Rutschman is catching Rodriguez this afternoon. Terrin Vavra is the designated hitter. Gunnar Henderson is starting at third base.
For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Adley Rutschman C
Anthony Santander RF
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Gunnar Henderson 3B
Terrin Vavra DH
Austin Hays LF
Adam Frazier 2B
Jorge Mateo SS
Grayson Rodriguez RHP
For the Rangers
Marcus Semien 2B
Corey Seager SS
Nathaniel Lowe 1B
Adolis García CF
Josh Jung 3B
Robbie Grossman RF
Mitch Garver DH
Jonah Heim C
Ezequiel Durán LF
Jacob deGrom RHP
The Yankees game notes list the following starters for the series at Camden Yards:
Thursday: Clarke Schmidt vs. Dean Kremer
Saturday: Nestor Cortes vs. Cole Irvin
Sunday: Domingo Germán vs. TBA
Update: The threat of inclement weather Thursday has forced the postponement of the Orioles' home opener. The game will be played Friday afternoon beginning at 3:05 p.m.
Gate will open at noon.
Tickets for Thursday will be valid on Friday. Fans unable to attend may exchange their tickets at Orioles.com/MyAccount by noon Friday.