BALTIMORE -- It didn’t take long for Adley Rutschman to begin climbing the Orioles’ organizational ladder.
The O's promoted their top overall prospect -- and No. 6 in the Majors per MLB Pipeline -- to Class A Delmarva on Tuesday. The promotion comes on the heels of a torrid three-week stretch at Class A Short-Season Aberdeen, where Rutschman excelled after getting his feet wet in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League last month.
Rutschman hit .325 with a .894 OPS over 20 games with the Ironbirds, capping that run with a 5-for-5, four-RBI performance on Monday night in his final game at the low Class A level. He also threw out five of seven attempted baserunners in nine games behind the plate, serving as the designated hitter in his other 11 contests.
Rutschman now joins Orioles No. 2 prospect Grayson Rodriguez on a Delmarva team that’s already clinched a postseason berth by winning the South Atlantic League’s first-half championship. The Shorebirds are 81-43, one win away from their best record in club history. Rutschman is scheduled to debut for Delmarva on Wednesday, when it hosts Greensboro at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
Consider this the fast track for Rutschman, a player the O's slow-played a bit after drafting him No. 1 overall in the 2019 MLB Draft, his debut delayed until July 20 due to various award obligations and a bout of mononucleosis. The reigning Golden Spikes Award winner signed a record $8.1 million bonus after becoming Baltimore’s first top overall selection since Ben McDonald in 1989.
Davis sits again
With the Orioles carrying four bench players again and giving extended looks to DJ Stewart and Anthony Santander, opportunities appear to be dwindling again for Chris Davis. The veteran slugger was out of the lineup against a right-handed pitcher for the second consecutive game Tuesday. He’s now started just three of the O's past nine games; Tuesday marked the fifth contest in which Trey Mancini started over Davis at first base.
The new arrangement hasn’t much affected Renato Nunez, who remains more or less entrenched at DH. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said there is nothing physically wrong with Davis, saying the decision was more tied to the utilization of Mancini.
“He’s fine,” Hyde said. “I just wanted Trey to play first base again. It’s nothing more than that, giving Trey a breather from playing the outfield. CD is fine and will be in there soon.”
Davis is hitting .179 with a .582 OPS over 90 games this season, and he is just 2-for-16 with 10 strikeouts since being involved in a dugout altercation with Hyde on Aug. 8.
Trumbo's clock ticking
While there are no immediate plans for Mark Trumbo to embark on another rehab assignment just yet, Hyde reiterated Tuesday that he hopes the injured slugger can return when rosters expand in September. Trumbo has yet to appear in the Majors this season, having suffered multiple setbacks in his recovery from right knee surgery. He participated in baseball activities with the team in recent weeks, with an eye toward proving he is healthy enough to play both in 2019 and beyond. The regular-season schedule for both of Baltimore's top Minor League affiliates ends on Sept. 2.