Rutschman showing enthusiasm behind the plate and patience at it

BOSTON - Kyle Bradish threw 40 pitches last night in a four-run first inning, made a slow walk toward the dugout and was intercepted like a tipped pass.

Catcher Adley Rutschman doesn’t pick six. He does it with everyone.

Rutschman, also a rookie who arrived in the majors after Bradish, maintained his routine of meeting up near the baseline. The talk is brief. Usually a tap on the shoulder or chest. Can be encouragement or consolation.

Bradish accepted a fist-bump and kept moving, his frustration apparent over a start that didn’t allow for a second on-field interaction.

Manager Brandon Hyde removed Bradish with two outs in the second inning. Beau Sulser, making his Orioles’ debut, stranded two runners and got the full Rutschman treatment – his catcher in his ear and they walked together.  

Marcos Diplán was several steps from the third base line when Rutschman chased him down, tapped his fist and slapped him multiple times on the back. Diplán had induced a ground ball from Franchy Cordero to strand Trevor Story in the sixth.

The ritual isn’t common, but it’s something Rutschman has done for a long time. Tyler Wells expanded on how much he enjoyed it after his start in New York, saying it was “a nice touch” and “definitely builds that bond between a pitcher and catcher.”

“I’ve seen it on occasion, but Adley … I think it’s great,” Hyde said yesterday. “He’s just so into the game and he’s so fired up at the pitcher. It’s super-genuine. It’s just what he feels at the moment, and I want him to do what he wants to do.

“I want him to feel good, I want him to play loose. I like guys who show emotion, and Adley shows positive emotion.”

Rutschman began the night averaging 4.86 pitches per plate appearance. The Pirates’ Yoshi Tsutsugo ranked first in the majors among qualified players with 4.61. Anthony Santander was eighth at 4.31.

“Adley’s somebody who’s always seen a lot of pitches in the minor leagues, always walked,” Hyde said. “We’ve seen the ability to foul off pitches in spring training. But you never know when you get here.

“I thought he was going to be a little jumpy and over-excited, and his at-bats have been really good. He’s seeing a ton of pitches every at-bat, he’s ready to hit, he’s laying off pitches outside the strike zone right now. And the numbers are going to be there because of all that.”

Rutschman was a tad more aggressive last night, a mixed bag of at-bats. He grounded out on the fifth pitch he saw in the second inning, hit into a force on his first pitch in the fourth, flied to right field on his second pitch in the fifth, struck out on five pitches in the eighth and bounced into a force at the plate on five pitches in the ninth.

The Orioles will reveal their other starter for today’s doubleheader, which is threatened by rain in the forecast.

Because, why not have rain?

Hyde said the starter could “possibly” come from a taxi squad that includes pitchers Denyi Reyes and Cody Sedlock. Seems like the probable outcome, and I’m still guessing Reyes until proven wrong.

The Orioles might choose to put both right-handers on the active roster. Sulser threw 43 pitches in three innings and won’t be available for a few days. Diplán threw 35 in two innings.

Sedlock would require a corresponding 40-man roster move.

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