Baltimore Orioles: Five Storylines To Follow In The Second Half
4) Don’t expect the big names to make Camden Yards home just yet, but these few names may.
Mike Elias continues to preach patience with Ryan Mountcastle and Keegan Akin, thankfully. I don’t want Keegan Akin up in the big leagues this season and there’s just no reason to have Mountncastle up. He’s only 22, there’s plenty of time and that bat is real, so let’s hang back and relax.
However, there are a few names who we may see in the near future. The biggest name could be RHP Dillon Tate. Tate struggled with the Double-A Bowie Baysox as he began the year as a starter, but he’s found a new role and a big wave of success since returning from a stint on the Injured List.
Now a reliever, Tate looks like a brand new pitcher on the mound in Bowie (I’m literally watching him right now as I finish this story, produce swing and miss after swing and miss). Over his last 10 appearances, Tate owns a 2.16 ERA and a 19/1 K/BB ratio across 16.2 innings. In four of his last seven outings, Tate has thrown at least one inning without giving up a hit or walk.
The Orioles are going to need arms, especially if they deal a few at the trade deadline, and Tate could be an option from the farm to provide valuable relief innings. After all but writing off Tate, he’s turning heads again.
Tate likely won’t be the only reliever to make his big league debut at some point this season. Don’t be surprised to see Hunter Harvey finally take the mound at Camden Yards. Harvey has been in the bullpen for the past month and now calls Norfolk home after a promotion to Triple-A before the All-Star break.
As a reliever, Harvey and his 100 mph fastball has logged 12 innings, striking out 13 hitters and allowing zero runs on just two hits. Even if Harvey doesn’t get the call (again, no rush with him either), following his success in Triple-A is a big storyline to follow closely.
However, watching Harvey climb the mound at OPACY to end the season would be quite the moment for O’s fans. I think I just got the chills.