Adley Rutschman dealing with sore elbow, Orioles sign infielder Chris Owings to minor league deal | NOTES

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SARASOTA, Fla. — Top Orioles prospect Adley Rutschman is dealing with a sore elbow, with manager Brandon Hyde saying the hope is the catcher will miss at most a couple of days of spring training.

Rutschman, who also ranks as baseball’s No. 1 prospect, was participating in minor league camp before the end of Major League Baseball’s lockout prompted the start of major league spring training. A nonroster invitee to camp, Rutschman, 24, is not on the 40-man roster but is in contention to be the club’s Opening Day catcher after hitting .285/.397/.502 with 23 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A in 2021.


Veteran Robinson Chirinos signed a one-year deal with Baltimore on Monday and is the only backstop on the 40-man roster. The club will need to add another so it can have two catchers available for the season opener on April 8 at Tampa Bay.

The other catchers in Orioles camp are Anthony Bemboom, Brett Cumberland, Maverick Handley, Jacob Nottingham and Cody Roberts. Bemboom and Nottingham have major league experience.


Right-handed reliever Isaac Mattson, one of the four pitchers Baltimore acquired in the Dylan Bundy trade with the Los Angeles Angels, is “about a month behind,” Hyde said, because of soreness in his pitching shoulder. The recovery process will prevent him from making the Orioles’ Opening Day roster. Infielder Shed Long Jr. and right-hander Rico Garcia, both nonroster invitees, are also rehabbing injuries.

Orioles add Owings to infield mix

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Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said Monday that the Orioles were looking at adding to their shortstop depth through free agency. They did so Tuesday, signing Chris Owings to a minor league contract that includes an invite to spring training.

In a nine-season major league career mostly spent with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Owings, 30, has played every position but first base and catcher, though he’s primarily been a shortstop and second baseman. A career .243/.288/.372 hitter, Owings posted a 1.048 OPS in 50 plate appearances with the Colorado Rockies in 2021.

He joins Rougned Odor, who signed a major league deal before the lockout, as veteran options in a middle infield mix that also features Ramón Urías, Jorge Mateo, Jahmai Jones, Rylan Bannon, Terrin Vavra and Richie Martin. Of that group, only Martin is not on the 40-man roster.

“I think it’s great,” Hyde said. “I think competition is great in camp. I think experience is great to have here. Wish they could play a little bit longer than just three weeks, but yeah, I’m all for adding infield depth, depth period, especially in this type of year. You don’t know how many soft tissue issues we’re gonna have, etc. And I think that adding quality major league players is nice, so it’s nice to add someone like Chris.

“He’s gonna be one of the guys that is gonna have a chance to make the team, and excited to add some veteran middle infielders.”

Light update at Camden Yards

With the Orioles’ decision to move the left-field wall back at Camden Yards, the club is updating stadium lighting so the added playing area is properly lit. Beginning Wednesday, there will be helicopters flying around the ballpark as part of the installation process.

The left-field wall project is expected to be completed by the end of the month.