With Opening Day around the corner, this is a very exciting time for baseball fans. Considering the nightmare that the lockout was, some of us weren’t sure that we would see April baseball. Now, the time has come. Over the next week, fans will be rolling into ballparks, probably hammered, for home openers, excited about the new slate that a new season brings.
Me, not so much.
I LOVE baseball. I LOVE Opening Day. I’ll be at Camden Yards for the home opener. But I am really starting to lose patience with the rebuild. Adley Rutschman has a triceps thing and we all pretty much figured he would be out for Opening Day, but now it’s official:
Playing games where though? I’d imagine AAA for a few weeks and I think we’re lucky if we see Adley by Memorial Day at this point.
I know how baseball works. It takes time, ESPECIALLY after Dan Duquette held the 2018 firesale and so far the best piece from any of those trades has been… Dean Kremer? Yikes. Not exactly the return you were looking for when you traded Machado, Schoop, Britton and Gausman. I mean we got a rental of Jonathan Villar, who was never going to be a part of the future, so who cares. The ONLY good thing that came from the last couple years of the Duquette era are guys like Ryan Mountcastle, DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez. It’s nice that he seems to have hit on a few first rounders. Gray-Rod and Hall still need to make their debuts, but you’re not living in the top 100 if you don’t have the potential.
Which brings me to my next point. Since Elias has come in, he has made some really great moves and built the number 1 farm system in baseball. However, you know what a really key piece of farming is? Knowing when to harvest the crops.
I look around baseball and guys like Bobby Witt Jr (taken #2 behind Adley out of high school), Julio Rodriguez (21 year old international phenom), and Spencer Torkelson (taken #1 the year AFTER Adley) have all made the Opening Day roster for their clubs. Jerred Kelenic, Andrew Vaughn, Alek Manoah have all exhausted their rookie limits already.
So please, spare me from the “look at the Astros blueprint” and the “Covid held these guys up” lectures. I know the Astros’ blueprint. Lose 100 games for 3 years straight. They were competing by year 5 though. We’ve had 2018, 2019, 2020 (Covid), 2021. Seems like we’re in no rush so 2022 is looking grim as well. All meanwhile Covid didn’t seem to halt other top prospects’ development.
I understand that there is “no reason to rush these guys” when we’re rebuilding. But uh guys…. Adley is 24. He *probably* could have been our catcher after he was drafted in ‘19. That’s not how things work but COME ON. Sure, his triceps flared up this spring, I get it. But at this point, I’m also skeptical that this injury isn’t even real and the Orioles need another excuse to hold him back so that 37 fucking year old Robinson Chirinos can start for us Opening Day. DL Hall is 23. Gray-Rod is 22. That sounds like a pretty solid core of your top 3 guys to start to build around. DL Hall is coming off injury and was STILL popping the mitt with 100 this spring!!!
So I have to ask:
At some point, these guys have to get big league at bats and outings. I assume there are going to be growing pains. Everyone has them whether it’s for a month or for most of a season. LETS FUCKING FIND OUT WHAT WE’VE GOT.
After an offseason where the biggest news in Birdland was moving the left field wall back.. I truly, truly, have no interest in watching Robinson Chirinos, Rougned Odor, Kelvin Guitierrez or even guys like DJ Stewart, Keegan Akin, or Bruce Zimmerman take up space on the roster. I can live with another bad season, lord knows I’ve seen enough of them in my lifetime. But give me some hope. Call them up Elias, and sooner rather than later. I’m begging ya.