Midday Mailbag: Should the Orioles make Grayson Rodriguez the closer? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Midday Mailbag

Midday Mailbag: Should the Orioles make Grayson Rodriguez the closer?

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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Every weekday, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles question. If you’d like to submit a question, send it to: [email protected]. Questions may be edited for clarity, length and style.

Question:  What do you think about moving Grayson Rodriguez to closer once he returns from the injured list? From: Adam Salt

Answer: Adam, I think Grayson Rodriguez has the promise to be an excellent starting pitcher, and a starting three of Corbin Burnes, Kyle Bradish and Rodriguez could be awesome.

Rodriguez has never been a reliever and in order to be a closer, you need to be able to pitch on successive days and perhaps four times a week. That’s not an easy job.

It’s not impossible for the Orioles to try a starting pitcher as closer. Zack Britton was converted from a starter to a closer, and other one-time starters for the time — Keegan Akin, Mike Baumann and Albert Suárez — have been moved to the bullpen, too.

I think it’s more likely that the Orioles would trade for a closer than to take a starting pitcher and have him close.

Question: The Orioles have a number of outstanding prospects Rule 5 eligible. Are there plans to protect or trade players? Are there any thoughts which players are the most valuable? How do we see this affecting the present 40-man roster? From: Julius Silvestri

Answer: Julius, I received a similar question from Carl Sallese. The best prospects the Orioles have who could be drafted by other teams in the Rule 5 in December are Coby Mayo, Connor Norby and pitchers Justin Armbruester, Chayce McDermott, Alex Pham, Cade Povich and Carlos Tavera.

Some of these players could be added to the Orioles’ roster this season, which would protect them from the draft.

There are a number of players who’ll be free agents on the Orioles’ 40-man roster and others they may not keep.

If they want to protect all the players I’ve listed, they could probably do so, and I don’t think they’ll trade players just because they might not have room on the 40-man roster for them.

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