When Buck Britton was promoted to manager of Triple-A Norfolk, among the roles he most looked forward to was telling players they were heading to the majors for the first time.
On Friday night, he broke the news to the Orioles’ top prospect, Adley Rutschman.
Rutschman, baseball’s No. 1 prospect, was officially added to the Orioles’ roster on Saturday morning. The night before, Britton called him at the visiting manager’s office in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Rutschman had had a night off after watching three straight games.
Rutschman and his teammates waited in the clubhouse after the Tides game ended, watching the Orioles’ 13-inning win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“They sold it pretty well,” Rutschman said Saturday at Camden Yards. “I thought, if at any point it would have been, it would have been pretty quick after the game. But they waited a while later, so he wasn’t too suspicious.”
That’s how Britton told Rutschman he was headed to the majors, thanks to a video the Orioles shared.
British: “You can take a seat. I was just going to tell you, man, you’ve had a lot of stuff, okay?
British: “A lot of hype. Today, I think, was a lot about managing his workload. You caught three games in a row. I don’t want you to feel like, ‘Oh, why didn’t I play?’ I know you had that question.
“But they are trying to be as careful as they can with you. I’ll say, like, the way you’ve handled all of this has been super impressive. I’m not surprised because the first day I saw you in 2020, there was something different, but the way you handled it and behaved, I just want to make sure you know you don’t have to do more. of what you’re doing, okay? What you are doing is a lot. Don’t go out and do more than you have to.
“We are not looking for a hero. Sea Adley Rutschman. Because regular Adley Rutschman is enough, do you know what I’m saying? Especially when you go to Camden Yards and you’re going to play in the big leagues for the first time.”
A small smile appeared on Rutschman’s face, then outfielder DJ Stewart burst into the office and yelled, “Let’s go gooooooooo!” with Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall, Kyle Stowers and Greg Cullen coming in behind him and grabbing Rutschman as they all started jumping around the room in excitement.
There has always been a lot of buzz around Rutschman. On Friday night, he arrived in the form of joy from his teammates in Britton’s office.
“It was unbelievable,” Rutschman said Saturday. “It’s really what this is all about, just the people that you have around you, the teammates that you have and the people that can share those moments with you. It makes everything so much better.”