Baltimore Orioles Opening Day Roster: What We Know
Over the weekend, Roch Kubatko of MASN reported on Twitter who the five pitchers to earn jobs in the Orioles’ starting rotation for the beginning of the 2021 season would be. Those pitchers, in order, are John Means, Matt Harvey, Bruce Zimmermann, Jorge Lopez, and Dean Kremer.
This year’s Opening Day start will be John Means’ first, as Andrew Cashner and Tommy Milone were handed the ball in Means’ previous two seasons with the team. In his career with the Orioles, Means has a 3.97 ERA in 42 appearances, including 37 starts. And, although his ERA ballooned by nearly a full run last season from where it was during his 2019 season when he appeared in the MLB All-Star Game, Means saw significant improvements in his K/9 and WHIP.
After recently having been added to the 40-man roster, Matt Harvey is a candidate for a bounce-back performance with the Orioles this season. In 2020 with the Kansas City Royals, Harvey surrendered 27 hits over 11.2 innings pitched, which led to the Royals’ decision to let Harvey walk in free agency this offseason. However, the Orioles believe they can eke out some value with the veteran right-hander and will hand him the ball every second day through the rotation.
A Maryland native, Bruce Zimmermann will get the chance to make his Major League debut with his childhood-favorite Baltimore Orioles. Zimmermann played his way into this role, recording 9.0 shutout innings in his first 3 outings this Spring.
As for Jorge Lopez and Dean Kremer, their reported addition to the rotation came a day after that of Means, Harvey, and Zimmermann. Lopez and Kremer each spent time in Baltimore’s starting rotation last season, making 6 and 4 starts, respectively. Many roster projections assumed Kremer would work out of the second or third spot in the rotation in 2021. However, the Orioles’ first two matchups may have been the deciding factor in Kremer’s placing in the order, as Kremer has previously struggled against the Boston Red Sox but thrived against the New York Yankees, who he will face in his first start of 2021.
- John Means (LHP)
- Matt Harvey (RHP)
- Bruce Zimmermann (LHP)
- Jorge Lopez (RHP)
- Dean Kremer (RHP)
- Felix Hernandez (NRI, granted free agency)
- Keegan Akin (Optioned to minor leagues)