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Orioles LHP Eduardo Rodriguez realizes experience means more than results

The Baltimore Sun

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez wasn't satisfied with the results he has had this spring, but the highly touted left-hander saw his second major league camp experience as a valuable one.

Rodriguez, who turns 21 in April, was among the three players reassigned to minor league camp Wednesday. Right-hander Brock Huntzinger and infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. were also sent out, putting the Orioles' spring roster at 47 players.

In Rodriguez’s final Grapefruit League appearance Wednesday, he allowed two runs and five hits over two innings. This spring, Rodriguez allowed eight runs and 12 hits in six innings.

“I gave up too many runs, but like they told me, I got more experience,” Rodriguez said. “I’m learning how to pitch. ... But I’m not happy to be like that. ... I’ve been here a longer time than last year. I’ve talked to these guys, and they’ve helped me.”

This spring wasn’t so much about results, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, but instead continuing to allow Rodriguez -- who is the Orioles’ third-best prospect, according to Baseball America -- to be exposed to major league camp.

“It’s good for him,” Showalter said. “He’s better than he was last year. There’s a lot of things we thought might challenge him, and I think he’s primed to go out and have a good season. Where they end up sending him, we’ll see. I think he’s scheduled for [Double-A] Bowie, but you never know. ... He’s right where he needs to be. He’s gotten everything he’s needed to get out of this.

“He doesn’t present the look [like he’s] intimidated by what’s going on. He’s got a healthy respect for it. He’s going to be a good one. He’s right where he needs to be at 21 years old."

Rodriguez split the 2013 season between High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie, going 10-7 with a 3.41 ERA.

“I have to be better this year,” Rodriguez said. “I have to. I have to work harder to be where I want to be.”

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