Baltimore Orioles rookie catcher Adley Rutschman has a strained right triceps and probably won’t be ready to start the season.
Rutschman, the top prospect in minor league baseball and the overall top draft pick in 2019, suffered the injury last Friday in a minor league intrasquad game.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said that Rutschman would rest for two to three weeks, putting in doubt his readiness for the team’s April 8 opener at Tampa Bay.
“We’ll see, it’s going to be dependent on when he’s ready to go,” Hyde said. “Treatment for a couple of weeks, then he’s going to have to do a progression from there if all goes well.”
Rutschman played 123 games for Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk in 2021, batting .285 with 23 home runs and 85 RBIs.
Baltimore hadn’t committed to Rutschman starting the season in the major leagues. Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said the team wasn’t concerned whether the Orioles could possibly delay Rutschman’s free agency by keeping him in the minor leagues for a few weeks at the beginning of the season.
“It’s nothing to do with rules,” Elias said on Monday. “I think if you’re in major league camp, you’ve got a shot to break with us.”
Now, Rutschman’s debut will likely have to wait.
“I think it’s an extremely small blip (for) a guy that’s going to be a long career,” Hyde said. “I’m looking forward to when he’s healthy, to be out there. I think he makes us better. We’ll see. I just want him to be healthy.”
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