Baltimore Orioles Spring Notes: Pitching Injury Updates
Early reports out of Baltimore Orioles spring training camp have been positive, except for a few hiccups.
The current Baltimore Orioles roster may not draw big crowds to Camden Yards in 2019 and wins are going to be fairly difficult to come by, but there has been a lot of optimism around early reports out of spring training. Injuries have already crept in, but overall, things appear to be going in the right direction.
Early photos from Orioles’ beat writers showed cameras and computers lined behind pitching mounds and a full coaching staff on hand, including minor league staff members who get to experience a big league spring. General manager Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde are putting their stamps on the organization in this first week of practice and have, somehow, quickly placed the minds of fans in a better place, even after we just watched the Birds drop 115 games.
A majority of position players have already reported, ahead of schedule, to Sarasota and have started their workout programs, including veterans Mark Trumbo, Trey Mancini, and Chris Davis. More importantly, Hyde continues to say all of the right things and the first few days of camp have been upbeat and a preview of things to come as change continues to be the theme of the 2019 Baltimore Orioles.
It wouldn’t be an Orioles spring training without the “Hunter Harvey feels healthy” lines and high hopes for an injury-free season. Harvey looked masterful at times with the Bowie Baysox last season, before more injuries threw off yet another year of development. We all want to see him finally make the majors behind a healthy arm, but it likely won’t be in 2019. Regardless, any day with positive Hunter Harvey news is a relief.
Reliever Richard Bleier also appears to be healthy and reportedly on track for an Opening Day return, per Roch Kubatko. The 31-year-old reliever was effective at keeping the ball on the ground and limiting hard contact while recording a 1.93 ERA across 32 innings before a shoulder injury ended his 2018 season in mid-June. A healthy Bleier will provide a tremendous boost to this Orioles bullpen. We don’t know who will make up the bullpen, but based on the current options, every game is going to be an adventure.
Baltimore Orioles prospect Dean Kremer sidelined with an injury.
The biggest news to come out of the first few days of camp is the injury to prospect pitcher Dean Kremer. Reports indicate that Kremer injured his oblique two weeks before reporting to Sarasota. He is expected to sit out the next two weeks of practices, but don’t be surprised if its longer.
Oblique injuries never seem as if they are a very serious injury, however, a full and healthy return from an oblique strain can be a long, slow process. LHP Chris Lee missed about a month last season, wiping out his spring training with an oblique strain, giving you a baseline idea of Kremer’s timeline.
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What does this mean for Dean Kremer? Best case scenario, the non-roster invitee makes an appearance or two in the last week or so of spring training games, before continuing his rehab in minor league camp.
The odds of Kremer breaking camp with the Orioles were extremely low, but it would have been nice to see what the 23-year-old could have done against major league competition, this after leading the minor leagues with 178 strikeouts in 131 innings. This likely solidifies a return to Double-A to start the season for our seventh-ranked Orioles’ prospect and a much more cautious approach over the first half of 2019.
The silver lining to this injury is that it happened very early and with the addition of Nate Karns, the Orioles can afford to be much more patient with the likes of Kremer, Harvey, and advanced prospects like Luis Ortiz, Keegan Akin, and fellow starters.
Full-squad workouts are set to begin on Monday and one week from today, Orioles baseball returns to TV as the Orioles host the Minnesota Twins live on MASN at 1 pm.