The Orioles’ top pitching prospect, Grayson Rodriguez, who hasn’t pitched since June 1st because of a lat strain, will make his first rehab appearance for High-A Aberdeen on Thursday against the Hickory Crawdads at 7:05 p.m.
Rodriguez, who’s the consensus top-ranked pitching prospect in minor league baseball was 5-1 with a 2.09 earned-run average in 11 starts for Triple-A Norfolk. In 56 innings, Rodriguez struck out 80 batters, walked 14 and allowed just one home run.
On Friday in Houston, Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias expressed optimism about Rodriguez’s return.
“I’m almost positive that we’re going to see him in real game action before the season’s over,” he said. “As with any rehab assignment, we’ll start him in the lower minors and then we’ll get him back, hopefully, to the level in which he got injured, and we’ll take it from there.”
Cowser, Ortiz, Hernaiz, Fabian promoted: The Orioles promoted outfielder Colton Cowser, their top draft pick in 2021, and infielder Joey Ortiz from Double-A Bowie to Norfolk. Infielder Darell Hernaiz is moving from Aberdeen to Bowie, and outfielder Jud Fabian is moving from Single-A Delmarva to the IronBirds.
Cowser, the fifth overall pick in 2021 who began the season with Aberdeen, hit .341 with a 1.037 OPS in 49 games for the Baysox with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs. He had a .469 on-base percentage.
Ortiz, who was the Orioles’ fourth-round pick in 2019, hit .269 with 15 home runs and 71 RBIs in 111 games for Bowie. He played 85 games at shortstop and 21 games at second.
Hernaiz, the fifth-round pick in 2019, began the season at Delmarva and moved Aberdeen, where he hit .305 with five home runs and 29 RBIs and a .832 OPS. Hernaiz played 25 games at shortstop, 18 at third base and 17 at second.
Fabian was the 67th overall pick in last month’s draft and moves up after playing four games in Florida Complex League and 10 games with the Shorebirds. He hit .386 with three home runs and nine RBIs for Delmarva.
Note: Norfolk announced its 2023 schedule. The Tides will play 150 games beginning on April 4th and concluding on September 24th.