Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez may be out until at least September with a lat muscle strain.
Orioles general manager Mike Elias offered an update on Sunday, saying that the pitcher's injury is of the Grade 2 variety, which would mean a recovery timeline of up to 12 weeks.
Elias said Thursday that MRI results showed the lat strain.
Rodriguez, who was ranked No. 8 among the top 100 MLB prospects by ESPN's Kiley McDaniel before the season, seemed on the verge of reaching the majors soon, but he left Wednesday's start for Triple-A Norfolk with discomfort in the lat area.
"I mean, the timing of this really stinks, is all I can say," Elias said Sunday. "He was basically at the point of checking every box you could think of in terms of his minor league work. I think that's he's shown that if he's healthy and himself, we want him to be in a position to help this team next year out of spring training."
While 2023 may be the ultimate goal, Elias left the door open for a possible 2022 return for Rodriguez.
"I definitely don't want to rule out him pitching later this season," Elias said.
The 22-year-old Rodriguez is 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 11 starts for Norfolk this season. He is a big part of Baltimore's rebuild, along with catcher Adley Rutschman, who was recently promoted to the majors.