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It's never a bad weekend for Orioles fans when they win two of three and end up being tied for third in the AL East, something they did against the Texas Rangers this weekend.
But remember, the 2021 season matters far more in terms of the progress of the Baby Birds than whether or not the O’s win a lot of games. The former is important so that eventually, we can worry about the latter.
The first of the Baby Birds to be demoted is starter Dean Kremer, who came over in the Manny Machado trade in 2018. Kremer wasn’t necessarily the headliner, but he’s one of the first from the trade to make it to the majors.
O’s fans watched in 2020 with glee as Kremer allowed just three runs in his first three starts. Kremer worked at least five innings in all of those three starts and never allowed more than four hits. So when Kremer ran into a buzzsaw in his final start of the season, there wasn’t a ton of reason to panic. Rookies hit bumps in the road.
Unfortunately, Kremer’s 2021 season has been pretty rocky.
Kremer didn’t pitch past the third inning in his first two starts of the season, allowing seven runs over those two outings. Kremer pitched just 4.2 innings in his Saturday start vs. Texas, though he only allowed one earned run.
So when the Orioles optioned Kremer down to the club’s alternate site at Bowie, it was a logical conclusion for a team in need of bullpen arms. Baltimore has two off-days coming up — one on Monday (today) and another on Wednesday. Kremer must be down for at least 10 days, meaning he can re-join the major league club on the 28th, right in the middle of a four-game stint vs. the Yankees.
Kremer will likely be back right after the 10-day minimum. And while he’s at Bowie, he can receiver more personal instruction than he can at the major league club.
So while Kremer’s rocky start to the 2021 season is discouraging, his demotion to the minors isn’t as bad as it seems on the surface.
Some other notes…
Jorge Lopez turned in a solid five innings on Saturday in the O’s 5-2 win. Lopez struck out eight and allowed just two runs, a vast improvement over his previous outings. It’ll be interesting to see if he can build on this performance.
Cedric Mullins added another three hits in the series against the Rangers. Unsurprisingly, Mullins has cooled off but he’s still the Orioles’ most reliable hitter right now.
Maikel Franco had five hits in the series, including his second homer of the season. His OPS is up to a respectable .757.
While Ramon Urias continues to hit in limited opportunities, Freddy Galvis is doing his best to make sure Urias replaces someone else. Galvis totaled six hits over the first two games of the series, including a fine 4-for-4 line in the night game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Meanwhile, Rio Ruiz is slashing just .133/.220/.267.