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One of baseball's very best prospects made his MLB debut Wednesday afternoon. The Baltimore Orioles summoned righty Grayson Rodriguez, the top pitching prospect in the sport, to make his big league debut against the Texas Rangers (TEX 5, BAL 3). Rodriguez started in place of Kyle Bradish, who was placed on the injured list with a foot contusion.

The first inning of Rodriguez's debut did not go well. Three of the first five batters he faced reached base -- all three reached in two-strike counts -- and the Rangers pushed across a pair of runs to take a 2-0 lead. Texas appeared to see Rodriguez's slider well and either fouled it away to extend at-bats or comfortably took it for a ball. He leaned on his upper-90s heater early.

Rodriguez settled down nicely after that rough start though. Following Josh Jung's RBI single, Rodriguez retired 13 of the final 15 batters he faced, and one of the two baserunners was a weakly hit infield single. He finished his outing allowing just those two first inning runs in five innings of work. Rodriguez struck out five, walked one, and got 14 whiffs on 83 total pitches.

"Got a little nervous there in the first inning, might not get out of it," manager Brandon Hyde said after the game (video). "He was just really excited, a little jumpy. Thought he did a really great job of settling down. Adley (Rutschman) worked well with him. Really good velocity, started landing more sliders, mixed his pitches extremely well after that first inning ... I'm really happy for him."  

The Orioles came back to tie Wednesday's game against Jacob deGrom, so Rodriguez was saddled with a no decision in his MLB debut. That's better than taking a loss. Here is Rodriguez fanning Ezequiel Duran for his first MLB strikeout:

Rodriguez was expected to win a rotation spot in spring training, though he pitched poorly in camp (15 runs in 15 1/3 innings), and the O's sent him back to Triple-A to begin the season. He then struggled on Triple-A Opening Day, allowing five runs and walking five in 4 2/3 innings. Rodriguez had a 2.20 ERA in 14 Triple-A starts in 2022.

"I wasn't expecting this, and we were hoping that he would show up as a better version of himself than I think we got here," GM Mike Elias told following Rodriguez's demotion to Triple-A. "We just had five other guys that were more deserving at this point in time. But I know what he's capable of. I think he's going to show it again really quickly."

Our R.J. Anderson ranked Rodriguez the No. 7 prospect in baseball entering the season, and the No. 1 pitching prospect. Here's his write-up:

Rodriguez would have debuted at some point last season had he not been sidelined in June by a right lat strain. (He returned in September for a series of minor-league appearances.) Rodriguez has a power pitcher's frame and an impressive arsenal that includes three well-above-average or better pitches: an upper-90s fastball, a slider, and a changeup. That trio empowered him to strike out 37 percent of the batters he faced last season, all the while amassing a 2.62 ERA in 75 innings. The Orioles will likely look to limit his workload, as he's never thrown more than 103 innings in a season. He should debut early in the year with an eye on becoming a frontliner starter.

Bradish suffered his injury when he was hit by a comebacker, and he will miss at least one more start while on the injured list. Assuming Rodriguez remains in the rotation in the interim, his next start will come at Camden Yards against the light-hitting Oakland Athletics next week. Pitch well and Rodriguez could remain in the rotation even after Bradish returns.