Norfolk Tides return home as pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez returns 

Norfolk Tides return home as pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez returns 

Norfolk TidesFresh off another series win, this time against the Memphis Redbirds, the Norfolk Tides return home to begin a six-game homestand with the Gwinnett Stripers, the top affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

Norfolk leads the International League with a 35-15 record.

A familiar face is back 

Pitcher Grayson Rodriguez, one of the Baltimore Orioles’ top prospects, was sent back to Tidewater over the weekend after an up-and-down month and a half in the majors.

Rodriguez, the Orioles top pick in the draft in 2019, was optioned to the Tides after compiling an underwhelming 7.35 ERA in starts with Baltimore. Rodriguez opened the season in Norfolk and made one start before getting the call to join the parent club.

Give the Tides marketing department major kudos for seizing the opportunity on Rodriguez’s return. Friday’s 6:35 game is almost a sellout on Grayson Rodriguez bobblehead giveaway night.

In Memphis, Norfolk won four of six games against the Redbirds (St. Louis). The Tides dropped the series finale Sunday, 8-2. Stranded runners were costly for the Tides, leaving nine runners on base.

Attention turned to Baltimore 

The Orioles were on their way to a shutout loss to the Cleveland Indians on Monday when centerfielder Cedric Mullins pulled up at first base with what manager Brandon Hyden called a right abductor groin strain.

Mullins, who is hitting .263 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs, grounded to shortstop, and after gingerly crossing first base, he was helped off the field by Hyde and head trainer Brian Ebel.

On the Orioles postgame show, Hyde had this to say about Mullins: “Going through all the tests right now, hoping for great news, but you never know,” Hyde said.

Daz Cameron is currently playing center field for the Tides and is hitting .267 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs. The rub with moving Cameron to Baltimore, if needed, is he is not on the Orioles 40-man roster. The O’s currently have only 39 on the roster, so they have an open spot. Both clubs are keeping a close eye on the situation.

Rodriguez’s demotion to Triple-A not necessarily a stepback

The Orioles’ decision to option Rodriguez, who earlier this year had been considered the top pitching prospect in baseball, was certainly understandable.

Rodriguez was just not giving the Orioles enough innings. In three of his last four starts, he didn’t complete the fourth inning.

Baltimore is a contender now, and they wanted to ride with him, but for the time being they couldn’t.

If there’s a way down, there’s a way back, just take Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay.

Halladay went from near the top of the baseball world to the bottom of minor league baseball during his pro career.

Halladay made it back to the majors and finished with 203 career wins, winning two Cy Young awards.

Sadly, Halladay was killed in a 2017 boating accident at the age of 40.

Scott German

Scott German

Scott German covers UVA Athletics for AFP, and is the co-host of “Street Knowledge” podcasts focusing on UVA Athletics with AFP editor Chris Graham. Scott has been around the ‘Hoos his whole life. As a reporter, he was on site for UVA basketball’s Final Fours, in 1981 and 1984, and has covered UVA football in bowl games dating back to its first, the 1984 Peach Bowl.