Baltimore Orioles could see top prospect early in 2023

Los Gallos de Delmarva pitcher Grayson Rodriguez makes a throw on Sunday, July 14, 2019.Shorebirds 3
Los Gallos de Delmarva pitcher Grayson Rodriguez makes a throw on Sunday, July 14, 2019.Shorebirds 3 /

The Baltimore Orioles’ unexpected charge up the standings in 2022 was due to the presence of top prospect Adley Rutschman. Another top prospect could be the piece needed to push them closer to contention.

During an interview with Jon Morosi, Orioles’ executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias mentioned that top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez is currently on the inside when it comes to a spot in the rotation coming out of spring training next year.

Baltimore Orioles could open 2023 with Grayson Rodriguez

Injuries may have been the only thing that kept Rodriguez from debuting in 2022. He had missed approximately three months with a strained lat muscle, the injury coming right when it appeared that the Orioles were ready to bring him to the majors.

Rodriguez certainly deserved that opportunity. He put together a strong season in Triple-A, posting a 2.20 ERA and a 0.933 WHiP over his 69.2 innings, striking out 97 batters with 21 walks. His performance would seemingly indicate that he has nothing left to prove in the minors.

The only question is whether or not the Orioles feel he has had enough time in the upper minors. His 69.2 innings in Triple-A last season mark the entirety of his experience at that level. He also has not spent much time at Double-A with 84.1 innings, a total that includes his 4.2 rehab innings this year.

But that may not matter. The Orioles are ready to contend once more as Elias declared that the rebuilding process is over. That should involve having the most talented roster possible regardless of their experience; if they are deemed ready, then so be it. At this moment, that will involve Rodriguez holding down one of the spots in the rotation.

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The Baltimore Orioles are ready to start contending. A sign of that commitment may involve Grayson Rodriguez as part of the Opening Day rotation.