With the Orioles mired in a rough 1-6 stretch, which included series losses to the Reds and Twins, and losses in their first two games in the Bronx, the Orioles are looking to change things up. Following the Orioles' 8-4 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday, Roch Kubatko broke the news that the the Orioles' second-ranked prospect, Colton Cowser, would be joining the Orioles in New York.
Baltimore Orioles promoting top outfield prospect Colton Cowser to major leagues
The Orioles made it official this afternoon, announcing a flurry of moves including the promotion of Cowser.
Cowser is making his Major League debut tonight against Yankees' right-hander Randy Vasquez, batting seventh and playing left field. Playing your first MLB game at the vaunted Yankee Stadium . . . what an incredible thrill for Cowser.
Cowser's promotion is well deserved. The 23-year-old outfielder was hammering AAA pitching, batting .330 with 10 home runs, 40 RBIs, 38 walks, and a blistering-hot .996 OPS. This is nothing new for Cowser. Since being drafted fifth by the Orioles out of Sam Houston State, Cowser posted an impressive .982 OPS in 2021 and an .875 OPS in 2022.
The Orioles are very good at documenting their prospect's reactions to being promoted to the majors. Cowser's promotion was no different.
To make room for Cowser on the roster, the Orioles optioned backup outfielder Ryan McKenna to AAA Norfolk. While this is a tough development for McKenna, who has for the most part performed well as the team's fourth outfielder, the demotion of McKenna makes sense. With Cowser joining the Orioles in likely an everyday role, Aaron Hicks, who has been out-hitting McKenna and has a better track record, will likely shift into a fourth outfielder when Austin Hays returns from a minor injury.
The Orioles' best Major League lineup is a lineup with Colton Cowser, Cedric Mullins, and Austin Hays in the outfield, with Anthony Santander at DH or first base. The Orioles have said from the beginning that they are serious about winning in 2023, and this further proves that point. Welcome to the show, Colton.