Blog maker

Hall on Rutschman: “He’s a difference maker”

BOWIE, Md. — Two of the Orioles’ top prospects watched it all yesterday while playing for Double-A Bowie against Harrisburg. After catcher Adley Rutschman and pitcher DL Hall had another good day, they did a series of interviews. And shortly after, the news came that the stay at Bowie would last three days.

They have been promoted to Triple-A Norfolk to join the Tides in Nashville tonight. For Rutschman, it’s a return to the team he finished with last year. Hall will make his Triple-A debut in his Norfolk opener.

Their inevitable march to Baltimore takes another important step. The Orioles continue to get along with some of their prospects. They are now at the forefront of the majors.

Hall went 3 2/3 innings against Harrisburg on Thursday afternoon, allowing three hits and two runs scored after leaving the game. He was dominant at times, hitting 99 and 100 mph, and got swings and misses with four throws.

But the best stat for Hall, according to the pitcher himself, was his hitting percentage. It was 80%, with 47 of his 59 strikes. He hit 19 of 21 pitches the first two innings and whipped up six batters the first time in the order. For a pitcher with a 5.0 career walk rate, it looks like he’s making big strides in control and command. It was the definition of hammering the zone. After his elbow stress fracture shorted his 2021 season last June, Hall had to think about throwing more strikes in the future.

“A huge step in the right direction for me has been this offseason,” Hall explained. “It took almost 11 months before I set foot on the rubber in Aberdeen last week. So I had a lot of time off. A lot of time to learn how much I underestimated baseball. And just being there. Now every game I play is a blessing and I’m very grateful to be back on the pitch. I missed it.”

And he took the message to heart to keep making gains with leadership. He said it was a change in mindset more than anything physical or mechanical. As for working with Rutschman as a safety net, he will take it every day.

“He’s a difference maker there,” Hall said. “He makes the difference all over the field. Just with the bat and behind the plate. It’s great to see him play every day. It’s something super special, and it’s a super special talent. Seeing him play every day is a blessing. He definitely steals strikes for you, and little things like that go a long way for pitchers.

How fast can Hall move this season? O’s executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said it could be quick. Elite talent and his strong passion will perhaps help him fight his way up the roster.

“It’s always a good feeling to hear stuff like that,” Hall said. “I try to stay out of it as much as possible and not listen to outside noise and just focus on preparation and preparation. But whenever that day comes I will be ready.

The same goes for Rutschman, who hit two well-hit singles yesterday and was robbed of another base hit by a fine defensive play in the eighth.

Rutschman went 5 for 12 (.462) in three games with Bowie as he now heads to Triple-A. In seven games between top Single-A Aberdeen and Bowie, he’s batting .440 (11 for 25) with five doubles, seven runs, two RBIs, four walks and just one strikeout.

It swings well and the majors are within reach now.

“I felt like I had managed to put together some good ABs so far. I got to see a lot of pitches,” Rutschman said. “I try to get my timing back, and when I get pitches in the zone, I drive them.

“No idea when (the major league call) that’s going to happen. But I just have to try to be as ready as possible when and if I get the call. That’s my job.”

Catching Hall yesterday, Rutschman had the best spot to see his swing-and-miss tricks. Rutschman acknowledged that it was a strong game, even by Hall’s standards, but that “every outing he has, he has the ability to do that.”

And seeing Hall effortlessly hit 99 and 100 mph? Rutschman gets used to it.

“It’s almost sad at this point, I don’t even mind it. It’s just expected, which is crazy because it’s so normal, but it’s special. It’s cool.”

The duo had a big afternoon, their last in Double-A. Triple-A is next and Baltimore is hiding somewhere in the distance.

Homer-happy O’s wins again: Heading into Wednesday’s game in Baltimore, first-place Minnesota had won 11 of its last 12, allowing just 25 points overall. Then the Orioles scored 14 and hit seven homers in winning the final two games of the series.

They hit five solo homers last night, one more homer than in the first 14 games of the season. But the Orioles have hit 14 homers in the last 11 games.

The Birds are now 7-9 against current No. 1 teams, with a 2-1 record against the Los Angeles Angels, 2-2 against Minnesota, 1-2 against Milwaukee and 2-4 against the Los Angeles Angels. Yankees. Last season they hit .321 in 162 games. This season, they hit a .438 ball against the current division leaders.

Ryan Mountcastle hit solo home runs in the second and eighth innings, recording his fourth career multi-home run game and first since Aug. 24, 2021 against the Los Angeles Angels.

Cedric Mullins has homered in consecutive games for the sixth time in his career. He extended his hitting streak to six games, the longest by an Oriole this season. During that span, he batted .375 (10 for 26) with four doubles, a home run and two RBIs.