The Baltimore Orioles are in a difficult spot. They are contending for a playoff berth and are one of the best teams in the American League. However, they are still working to find their core going forward, giving top prospects a chance to prove themselves.
One of those chances in coming to an end, at least for now. Grayson Rodriguez was sent to the minors on Saturday following another disastrous outing on Friday. He had allowed nine runs, eight earned, on six hits, including three homers, and three walks over his 3.2 innings. Enough was enough.
Grayson Rodriguez still has bright future with Baltimore Orioles
A consensus top ten prospect since the start of the 2022 season, Rodriguez was expected to be a difference maker in the Orioles rotation. Instead, he has pitched into the sixth inning just once in his ten starts this year. His 7.35 ERA and 1.721 WHiP over his 45.1 innings, with 21 walks and 13 homers allowed, were not what the Orioles had expected.
Given his performance, it is not a surprise that Statcast was not fond of his performance either. Rodriguez ranks in the 11th percentile, or worse, in barrel percentage, hard hit percentage, average exit velocity against, and expected batting average and slugging. This is not the profile of a viable option on a contending team.
There are some positives. Rodriguez has struck out 56 batters this year, and his 11.1 K/9 rate would rank fourth in the American League if he qualified. He has generated plenty of swings and misses with virtually all of his pitches. He could easily become that pitcher he had been expected to be. A chance to reset in Triple-A could be exactly what he needs.
The Baltimore Orioles had to send Grayson Rodriguez to Triple-A. That does not change what should be a bright future.