In Aberdeen, Grayson Rodriguez is ready for return to game action


ABERDEEN, Md. – The Orioles' top pitching prospect, right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, headed north this week to continue his rehab. In two days Rodriguez will pitch in a game for the first time since his appearance June 1 for Triple-A Norfolk.

Rodriguez, ranked as the No. 4 prospect in baseball by both Baseball America and, will take the mound Thursday for high Single-A Aberdeen at Ripken Stadium against Hickory.

It will be three months to the day that Rodriguez walked off the mound after throwing 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Norfolk against Jacksonville. Rodriguez had suffered a Grade 2 right lat strain and has been in rehab mode since. Just recently, that escalated when he added live bullpen sessions and a simulated game. The next step comes Thursday.

“I feel good,” he said today at Ripken Stadium. “Obviously, it’s great to just be back here in Maryland, where full-season ball is. So getting out of Florida was pretty nice.

“It really happened the inning before I came out," Rodriguez said, recalling his injury. "I just thought it was a cramp or a muscle spasm. Went back out and, obviously, the velo was down. So being precautionary, took myself out of the game. Then them saying I could miss the rest of the season, thought it was pretty crazy. But been able to rehab in Florida and everything went pretty smoothly.”

Continue reading

After scoreless outings with IronBirds, Cade Povich moves up to Bowie

cade povich

Talk about making a nice first impression. And a second one too. On Aug. 2, the Orioles traded closer Jorge López to the Minnesota Twins for a package of four pitching prospects, the headliner of which was lefty Cade Povich.

The 22-year-old Povich was assigned to high Single-A Aberdeen. In his first IronBirds outing, he pitched six scoreless innings on one hit. In his second he threw six scoreless again, this time on three hits.

When he took the mound for Aberdeen for the first time on Aug. 6 at Ripken Stadium against Wilmington, he struck out the first five batters he faced and had a no-hitter going through 5 2/3 innings. He finished with eight strikeouts and no walks.

He went from being a bit stunned in hearing he was traded to showing his new organization they may have gotten a good one.

“It was a bit shocking,” Povich told me recently about hearing about the deal. “You think you will be one of those guys with one team your whole career and you hear that when you are younger. Kind of crazy then to be part of a trade. Once everything calms down you have to look at the bigger picture. Someone wanted you enough to trade for you and it was for a good closer, so pretty big deal.”

Continue reading

In Aberdeen, Heston Kjerstad talks about his promotion to the IronBirds

heston kjerstad

ABERDEEN, Md. – He was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. But outfielder Heston Kjerstad of the Orioles would not play his first minor league game until this year on June 10 – exactly two years to the day that the Orioles selected him in round one.

He put it this way this afternoon in steamy Aberdeen when discussing dealing with first myocarditis and then in March a hamstring issue that further delayed his pro debut.

“Had a minor setback for a major comeback,” Kjerstad said at Ripken Stadium where he will debut tonight for the high Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds after playing 22 games for Low Single-A Delmarva.

The long wait to see Kjerstad get on the field is finally over for him and O’s fans. And that phrase he used today was one that evolved among players working to comeback from injuries at O’s camp in Sarasota, Fla.

“It was kind of we were throwing that around a lot in Sarasota with the rehab group. Kind of the lingo we used to stay more positive. Going through injuries isn’t the most positive experience sometimes.”

Continue reading