The Baltimore Orioles have boasted one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball so far this season
Although the team is below .500 with the first month of the season soon coming to a close, the Baltimore Orioles have gotten some great innings from their relief pitchers to this point. A number of different pitchers have provided a spark out of the bullpen that has allowed Baltimore to both stay in games when they’re down and close out games when they have a lead.
Prior to play on Wednesday, there are 49 pitchers in Major League Baseball who have an ERA equal to or below 1.50 with at least 5 appearances out of the bullpen. Orioles relievers Travis Lakins, Cole Sulser, Cesar Valdez, Paul Fry, and Adam Plutko appear on the list, leading what has been one of the best bullpens in baseball to date. Rookie pitchers Zac Lowther and Jay Flaa, both of which made their respective Major League debuts within the past week, each have contributed a scoreless line to the Orioles’ efforts as well.
A big part of what has made Orioles relievers so successful on the mound this season has been their ability to deliver competitive pitches that induce swings and misses. As a group, Orioles relievers record swinging strikes on 13.1% of their pitches, which ranks fifth among all teams in the Majors. The New York Yankees currently lead baseball in the category, inducing swings and misses at a 15.2% mark.
The Orioles’ bullpen touts an even 3.00 ERA in 90.0 innings this season, which leaves them behind just four other teams for the best run prevention in the league out of the ‘pen. The group is inducing groundballs at a 47.1% clip, which is good for the fourth-best rate in the American League. Baltimore’s bullpen is also within the top half of MLB for the least allowed home runs per 9 innings (HR/9), surrendering just 1.00 per 9 innings.
Cesar Valdez, who leads the American League in saves, and the rest of the Orioles’ bullpen will hope to continue their dominance as the calendar turns to the second month of the season this Saturday.