Orioles starter lands on injured list after dominating Yankees

Baltimore got some terrible news on Wednesday as Grayson Rodriguez is going to be out for a while.
Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels
Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles have their young core to thank for their hot start to the 2024 season. While guys like Gunnar Henderson, Adley Rutschman, and Colton Cowser get most of the attention, Grayson Rodriguez's contributions this season shouldn't be overlooked.

So far this season, Rodriguez has posted a 3.71 ERA in his six starts with 37 strikeouts in 34 innings of work. While not dominant, Rodriguez has been showing glimpses of the promise he displayed when he was among the best pitching prospects in baseball before he was called up last season. One such highlight was when he gave the Orioles 5.2 extremely valuable scoreless innings on Monday in Baltimore's 2-0 win over the Yankees.

Unfortunately, Rodriguez can now count himself among the numerous pitchers who are dealing with injuries around the league this year, as he is headed to the Injured List with shoulder inflammation. Baltimore's corresponding roster move here is to activate John Means from the injured list, which was a widely expected move.

Orioles News: Grayson Rodriguez placed on injured list, John Means activated

This is a blow to an Orioles team that has really found its stride lately. While it would be relatively trivial for them to replace an injured position player given their offensive depth, they are not nearly as deep on the pitching side. Fortunately, the Orioles were already planning on activating Means this week, so this isn't a total disaster. It is also noteworthy that there were no signs in that Yankees start that he was too bothered, as his velocity and pitch count were normal.

What is concerning is that it is Rodriguez's shoulder that is bothering him. Elbow and forearm soreness is commonplace in today's game, and often a little bit of rest is all that is required. Even if a problem ends up worse than that, the track record of surgical recoveries from elbow surgeries is pretty good these days. Shoulder injuries, however, remain a puzzle that modern medicine has yet to completely solve, and can be very problematic if they involve anything more than run-of-the-mill soreness.

Hopefully, Rodriguez's injury is just inflammation, and the Orioles are simply being extra cautious with a key piece of their rotation. Baltimore's rotation was looking like it was finally getting healthy again, and it would be a shame if Rodriguez were to be out for a long time. One positive note? It could mean that Albert Suarez's place as a starter is a little bit more secure with Rodriguez on the shelf.

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