Orioles’ Sightings on Grayson Rodriguez Finding His Way, Daz Cameron’s “Thriving” Swing & More – The Denver Post
For the second straight start, Grayson Rodriguez looked like a major-caliber starter the first time in the order before struggling the second time around.
Rodriguez, the Orioles’ top prospect and a candidate for the starting rotation, allowed a two-run homer in the third inning and then busted in the fourth in a Grapefruit League game against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday. The start was similar to his previous outing, also against Boston, in which the 23-year-old struck out nine of the first 10 batters with six strikeouts before allowing five in a row to reach base.
“Obviously I don’t appreciate them,” Rodriguez said of the tough outings. “But that’s the key. It’s a learning experience, and for that to happen in spring training, it’s better than in regular season.
In the fourth inning, Rodriguez walked the leadoff batter and then got a return that should have been a double play. But Rodriguez threw a short pitch into the bag that shortstop Jorge Mateo couldn’t corral. Rodriguez induced a double play on the next batter, but his mistake proved costly. He threw a wild pitch to allow a run, issued his second step from the frame and allowed a double RBI before getting fired.
“The first two innings he was really snappy,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We have seen overwhelming things.”
“I think the fourth set he got a little tired,” added Hyde. “You saw the change going to the backstop and some misfires there. It looked like it was fatigue in this fourth round.
Rodriguez finished the day allowing six hits and five runs (two earned) in 3 2/3 innings with two walks and three strikeouts. In his last two starts, Rodriguez has allowed 10 hits and nine runs (six earned) in 6 2/3 innings.
“For me, he had so many positives in his first two runs, and then having that tough run is probably not a bad thing for him,” said James McCann, who caught Rodriguez on Saturday. “He can look back on the positives and figure out what he did right and then get what he needs out of the tough set so he can make the adjustment and not let that happen in a game that matters.”
Rodriguez had the hardest time Saturday with Boston’s three best hitters — starters Christian Arroyo, Rafael Devers and Adam Duvall.
“We kind of had a plan, kind of read their swings the first time around,” Rodriguez said. “Nevertheless, we missed a few pitches and the major league guys hit them. It’s just some kind of take-out.
Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias has repeatedly said he wants Rodriguez to break camp in the rotation. Hyde reiterated that sentiment on Saturday morning, saying the club gave him “every chance” to be in the rotation on opening day.
“I’m not worried,” Hyde said of whether Rodriguez felt pressure to make the team. “I think it’s completely normal for a young player to feel like that, but he’s got a great thing. He’s going to be a really good starter in this league for a long time. I just want to see him relax and do those things well. last departures.
McCann said it was “above my salary” to determine if the 6-foot-5 right-hander should open the major league season.
“But as far as things go,” he said, “no doubt he’s ready.”
Also in the Orioles’ 9-6 loss, first baseman Ryan O’Hearn returned after missing a week with a knee injury and went 0-2. Pitcher Austin Voth, one of nine remaining pitchers in contention for a spot in the Orioles’ opening-day rotation, worked the last three innings, allowing five hits and four runs (one earned) with no walks and six strikeouts.
Colton Cowser, the organizations top outfield prospect, followed up his 476-foot homer Friday with an RBI single and a walk in his two plate appearances off the bench. Heston Kjerstad kept his side hot with an RBI brace.
One of the many contests in camp is for outfield spots behind starters Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander.
Kyle Stowers and Ryan McKenna could be on the right track, with the former posting a .724 OPS in 34 games last year and the latter serving in the pinch runner/defensive backup role.
But Daz Cameron pleaded for one of those spots this week with his bat, showing the power that once got him considered for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. The 26-year-old opened his week Monday with an RBI double against the Detroit Tigers and ended it Friday with a solo home run against the Minnesota Twins. His homer – hit 101.7mph and 386ft – was sandwiched between outbursts from Jordan Westburg and Colton Cowser for back-to-back homers.
“My swing is thriving, and as time goes by, my swing will continue to take care of itself,” Cameron said. “I’m happy to see results early.”
However, perhaps his most impressive performance came on Thursday at one of the Orioles’ backcourts. Cameron was one of several hitters facing DL Hall in the pitcher’s mock game and was the only one to hit the ball hard. In his three at bats against Hall, Cameron hit a ground fly in the hole, a fly ball to the left field fence and a frozen string to right center field.
“Daz continues to improve as he gets more at bat,” Hyde said. “He takes better swings. He swung the bat well last week. »
Cameron, who was drafted 37th overall in 2015 by Houston when Elias was with the Astros, has played 73 games with nine stolen bases and a .201 batting average with the Tigers over the past three seasons.
“The ability to run, be athletic and cover three spots in the outfield is going to be important,” Hyde said.
Bautista almost at full power
Closer Félix Bautista hit a big milestone on Friday — a milestone that really only applies to him and a dozen other big league pitchers.
On his second outing this spring, Bautista hit 100 mph on the penultimate pitch of his inning. His 100.1 mph fastball passed Twins hitter Matt Wallner, then he braked with an 89.8 mph splitter for the strikeout.
“I feel like I’m starting to get the rhythm back, little by little,” Bautista said through team interpreter Brandon Quinones. “I feel like I’m progressing slowly but surely to be at the same level as during the season.”
“I’m really confident with how things have gone,” he added.
Hyde was encouraged by both Bautista’s appearance in his second spring run and the reaction of his body. Bautista has slowly started camping after finishing last season with a sprained left knee and following a shoulder-strengthening program this winter.
“I love where he is right now,” Hyde said.
Hyde said Bautista will “ideally” pitch in three or four more games before spring training ends on March 27.
Pirates of the Orioles (SS)
Orioles (SS) at Yankees
Sunday, 1:05 p.m.
Radio: 97.9FM, 101.5FM, 1090AM