Rodriguez throws off mound for first time

Keeping tabs on the Orioles' No. 1 prospect

August 10th, 2022

Age: 22
MLB rank: 3
Team: Injured List
ETA: 2023
Scouting report, tools, stats & more »
Orioles prospect updates »

Aug. 10: Rodriguez takes big step forward, throws off mound
Grayson Rodriguez hit an important benchmark, throwing off a mound for the first time as he works back from the right lat strain he endured on June 1. Rodriguez is set to throw off a mound again on Friday, increasing his rampup after having only thrown off flat ground to date.

All the steps -- and, more importantly, his recoveries -- will help in determining Rodriguez's readiness to return by the end of the season. With some of his recent progress, the Orioles have renewed confidence that he can get into game action in September. Whether that comes in the Minors or the bigs is to be determined. But Wednesday was a positive step forward for Rodriguez, arguably his biggest to date.

Aug. 3: Rodriguez begins throwing program, increases hopes for '22 return
It was positive enough that Grayson Rodriguez has resumed throwing for the first time in recent days since sustaining his right lat injury at the start of June. But even more positive was the outlook that came with it.

The Orioles now have more hope that Rodriguez can return to game action before the close of the 2022 season than they did at the time of his injury. Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said that Rodriguez is throwing up to 120 feet off flat ground, and that the prognosis is trending toward a return to a mound this season. That's likely to come in a Minor League setting, at least to start.

"He feels really good," Elias said. "I still do not have a timetable, but I would probably increase our desire to get him onto a game mound before the year is over than at the initial time that I made the announcement his injury happened. We're hoping for that."

Elias' words breathe the fullest of life into Rodriguez refinding his footing this year. The club initially cast doubt on a possible return, saying it may decide to shut him down for the year. But Rodriguez pledged confidence in beating the timeline set out for him, and he appears on track to do so. The only question now is if he has enough runway for a big league callup.

July 9: Rodriguez's follow-up MRI comes back clean
The reimaging of Grayson Rodriguez's right lat taken in recent days came back "great, as good as it could have," according to Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias. All the while, Rodriguez remains at the club's complex in Sarasota, Fla., for gradual rehab and he's yet to resume baseball activities. There's no timetable for his return from the right lat strain he sustained at the outset of June.

"Things are trending well, but we still have stuff to do," Elias said. "And we still do not have a timetable yet, either, just because of the nature of these lat injuries. We're not at the sort of the checkpoint where we would start scripting that out."

The Orioles have floated the idea of getting Rodriguez -- the top pitching prospect in baseball -- back on a mound before the end of September, as well as possibly removing him from game action altogether until 2023. The next month will be telling in Rodriguez's readiness for the rest of this year.

June 18: Rodriguez begins 'active rehab' in Florida
Grayson Rodriguez, as expected, reported to the Orioles' complexes in Sarasota, Fla., for his rehab program from the right lat strain he endured at the outset of June. He's limited to just "active rehab" -- physical therapy and "pretty basic stuff at this point," said Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias -- and will be re-imaged and re-examined in the coming weeks.

Rodriguez had been tabbed for perhaps a return in September, though Elias said it's possible he could be back sooner or sit the remainder of the season. After Rodriguez undergoes his next round of scans, the Orioles may have a firmer timeline for his return to the mound.

"Those have gone well. It seems like everything's going well," Elias said of Rodriguez's workouts. "But no further clarity to the exact timeline yet. We'll do some re-imaging at some point in the next few weeks, and I think we'll have a better sense there of where in that timeframe he's probably going to land."

June 5: Rodriguez may be out rest of year
Grayson Rodriguez was tabbed with a Grade 2 right lat strain, executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said on Sunday, and one that could keep him off a mound for the rest of the season. The Orioles instead hope he can return to action in September, but the injury has likely washed away the chance at a Major League debut this season. More >>

June 2: Rodriguez out 'a decent amount of time'
Grayson Rodriguez will not be in action for "a decent amount of time, at a minimum” after sustaining a right lat strain, Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said. The injury will delay Rodriguez's anticipated MLB debut, with no concrete timetable for his return. More >>

June 1: Rodriguez leaves in sixth with apparent injury
Grayson Rodriguez left his first June start in the sixth inning with right lat discomfort, a concerning sign for baseball's top pitching prospect. Rodriguez had thrown just 63 pitches for Triple-A Norfolk before being replaced. Despite the injury, he still posted a solid line, logging 5 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing just two hits and fanning four without a walk. The injury came after he matched a career-high seven innings in his last start. More »

May 27: Rodriguez dominates in longest start of 2022
After a shaky start to the month of May, Grayson Rodriguez capped off a head-turning five-game stretch with perhaps his best start of the year. Baseball's top pitching prospect was electric for Triple-A Norfolk on Friday, striking out 10 and allowing just two hits and no runs in a season-high seven innings pitched. The 22-year-old stymied Gwinnett's lineup all night, as Stripers DH Preston Tucker was the only batter to record a hit against him. His seven innings pitched matched his career high, which he last did in his second pro season on May 27, 2019. With his battery mate Adley Rutschman now in the big leagues, it may not be long until the two are reunited in Baltimore. Gameday »

May 22: Rodriguez keeps rolling in fourth win of season
With  now in the Majors, Grayson Rodriguez didn't skip a beat in his first outing since his former battery mate's promotion.

With ample run support behind him, Rodriguez dealt six more stellar innings for Triple-A Norfolk, striking out nine while allowing just two runs on four hits and a walk to move to 4-1 on the season.

Rodriguez faced most of his base traffic in the first three innings of the Tides' series finale at Charlotte but mostly limited damage, stranding two men aboard in the first. After retiring the side in order in the second, the righty gave up a leadoff double to the Knights' Laz Rivera in the third and an RBI single to Danny Mendick two batters later. After Mendick stole second and went to third on Jake Burger's groundout to second, he scored on a Rodriguez wild pitch.

From there, Rodriguez was lights out. The 22-year-old retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced, including striking out the side in the fourth, and only allowing Blake Rutherford's leadoff single to right in the fifth. Rodriguez threw 86 pitches, 64 for strikes.

The victory was just the latest in a string of terrific outings for Rodriguez. Over his last four starts, the 2018 11th-overall Draft pick has gone 2-0 with a 1.25 ERA, allowing three runs on 12 hits while striking out 33 and walking nine in 21 2/3 innings.

May 17: Rodriguez whiffs season-high 11 as Adley homers
For all the speculation surrounding Adley Rutschman’s impending promotion, the spotlight has shifted some in recent days from Grayson Rodriguez, his battery mate and the top pitching prospect in baseball.

But that doesn’t mean Gray-Rod isn’t still dealing.

Rodriguez was dominant again Tuesday, racking up a season-high 11 strikeouts across 5 1/3 scoreless innings in Triple-A Norfolk’s 4-1 win over Charlotte. Rutschman and Orioles No. 8 prospect Kyle Stowers pitched in with a two-run homer each in support of Rodriguez, who dialed his fastball up to 99.2 mph in the outing. Full story »

April 26: Rodriguez runs into trouble
After a dominating start with Triple-A Norfolk, Rodriguez experienced his first rough outing. The righty allowed three runs on six hits and a walk over four innings while fanning five against Gwinnett. Gameday »

April 20: Rodriguez continues to dominate at Triple-A
Rodriguez, the top pitching prospect in baseball, continued his season-opening run of dominance on Wednesday with 5 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball, striking out eight and allowing a walk. He retired 15 consecutive batters after the Bulls' lone hit with one out in the first, registering 13 swings-and-misses on 75 pitches. Gameday »

April 14: Rodriguez keeps rolling
Rodriguez utilized his wicked stuff to rack up eight strikeouts over five three-hit, two-run innings for the Tides. He didn’t run a three-ball count on a single batter, giving him just one walk in nine innings so far, along with 15 strikeouts and four hits. Gameday »

April 8: Off to a stellar start
In his first Triple-A outing, Grayson Rodriguez did not allow a run over four frames. The right-hander worked around a hit and a walk while striking out seven. Gameday »