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 MLBPipeline.com, 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.”