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Showalter says March game didn't hurt Wieters


Showalter says March game didn't hurt Wieters

BALTIMORE – Matt Wieters will meet the Orioles in Miami, and if things go well, he’ll go on a rehab assignment next week. He’s likely to play every other game during the rehab stint, which could last up to 20 days, but the Orioles are eager to have him back when he’s eligible on June 4.

Wieters had Tommy John surgery last June 17, and rehabbed well enough to where he could catch six innings in Sarasota against Minnesota.

The day after the game, Wieters was shut down, and he’s been rehabbing ever since. The Orioles don’t feel Wieters was hurt by playing that one game.

“If anything it helps us make better decisions,” manager Buck Showalter said. “And know that he was more on the 11-12 month than the nine month that he was hoping, and I think he showed a lot of maturity with it.”

Showalter said that he’s eager to get Wieters out of Florida.

“I think Matt really knows what has to happen for him to be able to contribute here, and I think he used that as a gauge a little bit,” Showalter said. “I look at it as a positive in the long run. It was part of the progression. In hindsight, it was a positive that he was able to make a good decision there and not push it along where he would have really had a setback that would have required some other things.”

Showalter said that Wieters has probably had 200-300 at-bats since the start of spring training, and he’s not concerned about his hitting.

“But, it’s going to be a big jump in level of play and the quality of pitching,” Showalter said.

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Orioles' Adley Rutschman is one step closer to moving from face of the rebuild to face of the franchise

Orioles' Adley Rutschman is one step closer to moving from face of the rebuild to face of the franchise

Adley Rutschman is one step closer to playing for the Orioles. Shout it from the rooftops, Baltimore.

The top overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft began his career with the organization with a brief stint in the Gulf Coast League before quickly heading to Aberdeen. After a few weeks with the short-season affiliate, Rutschman finds himself on the move again.

His latest promotion will take his talents to Delmarva, to join a record-setting Shorebirds squad gearing up for a long postseason run.

Rutschman’s final game with the Ironbirds was fitting: a 5-for-5 night in which he was just a double shy of the cycle, capped off by a beautiful moment with a young fan. His next challenge will come in the form of the playoffs.

In Delmarva, Rutschman will experience postseason baseball as a professional for the first time, alongside many teammates who might find themselves in Baltimore with the catcher one day. Grayson Rodriguez stands out as the Orioles’ second-best prospect, behind only Rutschman himself, and as a pitcher, he’ll work with the top pick more closely than others.

It’s an exciting pair of players for fans to watch, especially when the two form the battery in the same game. The future of the Orioles will never be more obvious than those nights.

Many franchises emphasize the value of a young core not just learning to win, but learning to do it together. Rutschman will certainly have that chance to close out 2019.

It’s also exciting for Orioles fans just to see how quickly Rutschman has adapted to the professional game. Plenty of highly-touted prospects across the league struggled in their first exposure to professional pitching, yet Rutschman has handled every step of the way with aplomb.

In all likelihood, Rutschman’s stop in Delmarva will be a short one as well. The postseason begins in early September, and by 2020 the catcher will almost certainly be in either Frederick or Bowie as he continues to move up the minor league ladder.

Every step will bring more and more enthusiasm as Rutschman moves from the face of the rebuild to face of the franchise. The front office is keen on letting him experience every level of the organization, but their patience hasn’t dampened the optimism of the fans.

Adley Rutschman has already starred for Aberdeen, and one day he’ll star for the Orioles. For the next few weeks, however, the O’s will be plenty happy seeing him star in the middle of a Delmarva playoff run.


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Former Orioles players who have played in past Little League World Series

Former Orioles players who have played in past Little League World Series

Loudoun South will be competing in the Little League World Series Wednesday in Williamsport.

Let's take a look at the two former Orioles that once took part in the iconic tournament.

Jonathan Schoop, 2B

The former Orioles' star starred for Curacao's 2004 LLWS championship team. Schoop handled the pressure in his youth and is a model for kids today on what can be achieved with hard work. He delivered the go-ahead RBI in International play that sent Curacao to Williamsport, Pa., then earned a save in the final game against the U.S. team from California by recording the final two outs.

Boog Powell, 1B

Before he started his famous barbecue on Eutaw Street, Powell starred as a pitcher for the 1954 LLWS team from Florida. The team from New York that ultimately defeated Powell's squad featured former major leaguer, Jim Barbieri. Ironically Barbieri appeared as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series against Powell and the Baltimore Orioles.