Disappointed to not debut in 2022, Grayson Rodriguez hopes to make up for it by cracking Orioles’ opening day rotation

With Triple-A Norfolk’s season complete, Grayson Rodriguez waited to hear news of his next steps. Baseball’s top pitching prospect had worked his way back from a midseason lat muscle strain with enough time to join the Orioles for what would have been his major league debut.

Instead, his season-high 90th pitch of his Sept. 26 outing for the Tides, finishing off five innings of one-run ball, proved to be his last of the year.

“Obviously, not getting the call I guess kind of lets you know that your season’s over,” Rodriguez said. “But I was waiting for it. It didn’t come. Obviously, from a player’s perspective, it was pretty disappointing. But all you can do is look forward to the next opportunity.”

That will come in spring training, when Rodriguez will try to shake the disappointment from the end of the season by breaking camp with the major league team. Speaking on a video call Wednesday — his 23rd birthday and the day after the Orioles added him and four other prospects to their 40-man roster — Rodriguez said his approach throughout the offseason is to best position himself to make Baltimore’s opening day rotation, a possibility executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said in October has “a very high likelihood.”

“It’s full speed ahead,” Rodriguez said.

That seemed to be the case in June, when Rodriguez was dominating at Triple-A amid what he said in August was “hands down the best I’ve ever thrown the baseball in my life.” When tightness in his upper back forced him to exit in the sixth inning of his June 1 start, the right-hander had a 2.09 ERA for Norfolk, striking out 12.9 batters per nine innings.

He didn’t return until three months later, and after a start with High-A Aberdeen and two with Double-A …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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