Home opener postponed and Rutschman on catching Rodriguez today

ARLINGTON, Tex. – Before we get to today's game, the Orioles annouced before game time today that their scheduled home opener tomorrow with the New York Yankees has been postponed until Friday at 3:05 p.m.

An Orioles tweet said: "After consultation with MLB, tomorrow's home opener at Oriole Park at Camden Yards has been postponed due to the forecast of severe inclement weather."

Meanwhile, there is, no doubt, a buzz around the Orioles today on the occasion of Grayson Rodriguez’s major league debut. As some of the gates opened earlier at Globe Life Field, some friends from his high school days in Nagodoches, Texas were already in the stands. Several O’s players discussed how excited they are to see one of baseball’s top prospects take the mound.

Manager Brandon Hyde said today he is confident that Kyle Bradish will be back when his stint on the injured list is up. So is this a potential one-off for Rodriguez today, or does he stay in the rotation?

“That’s the one thing we are excited about, is that we have depth and we have talent,” said Hyde. “The one thing that wins in this league is depth. We’re going to see how it goes. You’re not going to break with five starters and have those five starters pitch all year. Things happen. We didn’t expect Kyle Bradish to get hit on the foot. He had great stuff the other night. We’re just going to kind of watch a little bit. See how the next week and a half, two weeks go and go from there.

“Just like Gunnar (Henderson) and Adley (Rutschman) last year and some of the rookies guys I was with in Chicago that had hype like these three guys, you just kind of want to take as much pressure off them as possible. Relax and enjoy the moment. Sure he will have a lot of family here, pitching in his home state. But it’s almost impossible to relax, although you want them to.”

Hyde said there were a lot of scenarios discussed for replacing Bradish.

“For us, Grayson is the next man up, starting-pitcher-wise," he said. "We broke with five guys that had really good spring trainings and Grayson just missed out on breaking with us. He is on turn and we are looking forward to watching him pitch today."

Hyde said Rodriguez had great stuff in his Triple-A season debut, when he allowed two earned runs over four innings on Friday, but the right-hander's command was off again and he walked four.

“I talked to him this morning, first thing," Hyde said. "Trying to keep him as calm as possible.

"I want him to pitch just like he was pitching in high school,” Hyde said, conceding that that is a big ask. “Try to make it as normal as you possibly can outing. That is super hard to do and I understand that.”

No doubt it will help Rodriguez today to walk into an O’s clubhouse filled with young players he already knows well and has played with often. And being caught by his good friend Adley Rutschman.

“I’m blessed to call him a friend," Rutschman said earlier. "To see him make his debut and catch him today, it is something we’ve always dreamed about. Cool to be part of his journey today. We know the emotions that will be running through his head this afternoon. Fun to see this and very proud of him.

"I let him know I'll be here today for whatever he needs. But try and enjoy the moment as much as he can. There is a reason he's here, and just do what he does."

Added Rutschman: "Lot of excitement today. I know he's had a lot of phone calls, probably, last night from his family and friends and whatnot. I know he lives pretty close to here. He will have a lot of people in his corner today. I'm excited."

Meanwhile, Bradish spoke to the media today for the first time since leaving Monday's game after taking a liner off his right foot.

“It’s very unfortunate," he said. "Felt really good going into the outing. All spring felt really good. But it’s still early and something I have to deal with.

“It is getting better day-by-day and I’m getting treatment, basically the whole time I’m at the field."

Bradish said that as of now there is no set time for his return, but Hyde was optimistic it will happen when his IL time is up.

"I'm not sure; we haven't discussed that plan as of right now," Hyde said. "Hopefully, in the next few days we hammer that out."

Bradish said the team has rallied around him.

"When I went on the IL last year all the guys were very comforting towards me," he said. "This is a different circumstance; just my foot. But it's nice to know that these guys will pick up the pieces."

Bradish was relieved an MRI confirmed he suffered a foot contusion and nothing more problematic.

"We did every imaging that we could think of to make sure nothing was there. X-ray doesn't tell the whole story," Bradish said. "Just a contusion and I'll be good to go."

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