Rutschman's early struggles don't trouble Orioles' Hyde -
Rich Dubroff

Rutschman’s early struggles don’t trouble Orioles’ Hyde

Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE—Catcher Adley Rutschman’s first three weeks in the major leagues have produced lots of hope and few hits. Rutschman broke an 0-for-20 streak with an eighth-inning single and has a .145 average. He still doesn’t have an RBI.

Former catcher and current Orioles manager Brandon Hyde isn’t concerned about the team’s top prospect.

“What I love right now is that when you walk through the clubhouse and you can’t tell that he’s not hitting the way he wants to do,” Hyde said on Wednesday before the Orioles’ game against the Chicago Cubs was postponed.

“He’s loose and not feeling frustrated at all. He’s not portraying that things are bothering him. It’s a really mature way to handle it. He’s a really impressive kid.

“I think he’s handling this early go as well as he possibly can. I know he wants to get more hits. He’s had some bad luck. The way he’s handling this tough situation, entering the big leagues with a lot of fanfare and myth, and facing the teams we face, it’s never easy. He’ll be fine.”

Rutschman doesn’t appear overmatched at the plate. He has struck out 15 times to four walks, but Hyde isn’t worried about his plate judgment.

“It’s going to translate because his pitch recognition is so good,” Hyde said. “His discipline is excellent, so as he keeps getting more comfortable in the big leagues, you’re going to start seeing him get into hitter’s counts, to be able to do damage in hitter’s counts because of that.

“That’s a skill that’s really hard to teach and really hard to teach, especially up here, and he already has that. He’s in a really good place in that way, and the results will happen when they do, but the process is really good.”

One thing that has stood has been Rutschman’s engagement with the pitchers. After each inning, he greets the pitcher coming off the mound, offering encouragement.

“I think it’s authentic,” Hyde said. “There’s nothing fake about it. It’s his style. I want guys to be themselves. I want guys to play with emotion and play with their own personal style.

“That’s probably something he’s done for a long time. He feels comfortable doing it. When I see that every time, the pitchers engage with him, too, so it’s only positive. It’s not something you see every day. I think it’s great that he feels comfortable doing that. I just want him to be himself and play, and that’s just part of his game.”

Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions in the coming days. Please email them to: [email protected]

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