Adley Subtracts the Competition

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A major plus: lately, Adley Rutschman is multiplying his numbers. The Orioles’ number one prospect has not only offered premium defense, but has given Baltimore some great production at the plate. The rookie backstop has been on fire this week, slashing .318/.360/.636 including a homer and five RBI in 24 plate appearances over his last seven games played. In his last 15 games, he’s authored a ​​.295/.418/.568 line with two homers and eight RBI – including an impressive 10/11 BB/K ratio. The 24-year-old has practiced some good plate discipline - he possesses a below-average 19.4% K-rate alongside an above-average 9.9% walk rate. His 23.2% chase rate is below the league average.

Adley also is exponentially good at hitting doubles; with his 17 doubles through 50 games played, he set an Orioles franchise record for doubles within that time frame. In fact, through Sunday morning, 23 of his 39 Major League hits have gone for extra bases. He possesses a .325 wOBA to accompany his extra base hits. His first Major League hit was, in fact, a triple. He also clobbers fastballs; 12 out his 17 doubles have been off fastballs. He carries a .375 wOBA on fastballs, advantageous, especially considering his .​​842 OPS off right-handed pitching. A pull-hitting lefty power hitter, all five of his homers this year have been hit left-handed, off righty pitching. He holds a .842 OPS versus righty pitching, as a lefty hitter.

Rutschman’s framing has certainly helped Orioles pitching; he’s managed to appropriate strikes nicely, like for Jorge López here. He’s ascertained the upper percentile when it comes to framing, placing him in the upper echelons of the league.

Adley can indeed, hit; he seems to live on second base, but while behind the plate subtracts runners with ease. His mathematical journey through the second half of the season should continue to be not only exponential, but also fun to watch.

Notable Performances

Aaron Judge has had himself yet another exceptional week at the plate; even with the All-Star break this week, he’s homered in four out of five games since the break ended. He's also 8 for 17, with 11 RBIs during that stretch. He leads the league with 37 home runs, and is well on pace to reach, and perhaps surpass 60 home runs by the end of the regular season. As one would predict, he owns an absolutely ridiculous 181 wRC+ through Sunday afternoon. He leads the major leagues in fWAR, at 5.4.

Darin Ruf smashed a game-tying grand slam on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium – it was the 35-year-old’s first-ever grand slam. Ruf’s top of the 7th inning dinger evened the score against the Dodgers 5-5 - however, the Giants fell eventually, 9-6. Ruf is 3-for-17 in his last seven games, including three homers.

Another story from the “ain’t life grand” category: Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam on Friday. Bellinger’s grand slam was an eighth inning tie-breaking smash with two outs and two strikes. This was the seventh grand slam of Bellinger’s career. The Dodgers beat the Giants, 5-1. Bellinger meanwhile, is 5-for-24, including that grand slam.

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Injury Report

Great news for Jacob deGrom; he threw a simulated game on Thursday and “felt good,” he told reporters. Earlier this week, it was announced that his simulated game was pushed from Tuesday to Thursday due to mild muscle soreness. He’s expected to work out with the Mets on Sunday, and should be cleared to rejoin the starting rotation if all goes well.

The Marlins have moved Jazz Chisholm to the 60-day injured list, with a stress fracture in his back. This move is more procedural to open a spot on the 40-man roster; the electrifying shortstop was placed on the shelf and was expected to be out until September. Fantasy managers should prepare for the news that he may be shut down for the rest of the season.

Julio Rodriguez was a late scratch from the Mariners lineup on Friday due to soreness in his right wrist. The AL Rookie of the Year favorite suffered the injury while attempting to steal second base during the first inning last Sunday against the Rangers. Though he felt fine at the time, the 21-year-old participated in the Home Run Derby as well as the All-Star Game. It wasn’t until the next day where the injury resurfaced. He was announced as being day-to-day after “not feeling good” after batting practice on Friday, and missed his second-straight game on Saturday. An MRI on Saturday revealed bruising to his wrist, but no structural damage. Manager Scott Servais said Rodriguez may return to the lineup on Monday; for now, he’s still considered day-to-day.

Luis Robert was removed from last Friday’s game versus the Minnesota Twins, due to lightheadedness and blurred vision. The 24-year-old has yet to resume baseball activities since then; he’s since been placed on the 10-day injured list. Adam Engel is expected to fill center field for the White Sox in Robert’s stead; Yasmani Grandal was activated from the injured list, in a corresponding move.

Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and ​​Austin Romine will miss the Cardinals’ upcoming series versus the Blue Jays due to their vaccination status. Canada’s federal vaccine mandate states anyone entering the country needs one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 14 days prior to traveling.

Batting Around

Going into Tuesday’s All-Star game, Shohei Ohtani was 0-8 against National League starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Ohtani announced to the crowd of 52,518 in attendance at Dodger Stadium that he would swing at the first pitch, and “that’s it,” for verbatim. The two-way superstar was not lying; he in fact, swung at Kershaw’s first pitch, turning it around for a leadoff single to kick off the midsummer classic. Moments later, however, Kershaw made a fine pickoff move to first to nab Ohtani diving back into first base. Baseball is indeed full of wonderful surprises.

That’s the first Week that Was of the second half of the season. Join us next week for more updates from around the league.