The month of April was very kind to the Baltimore Orioles, with the Orioles entering their May schedule with a 19-9 record, second place in the AL East behind the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays. However, not everything is perfect on the team, and there are a few players in particular who need to step things up this month. (Stats are prior to beginning of play May 2)
3 Baltimore Orioles players who need to perform better in May
Dean Kremer, SP
Kremer's struggles to begin the season have been well documented. Through six starts this season, he has struggled to a 6.67 ERA and 1.584 WHIP in 29 2/3 innings, though a 5.88 FIP suggests he's been a tad unlucky. Regardless, the FIP isn't a massive drop, so a lot of this is on Kremer.
Kremer is averaging 11.5 hits per nine innings, 2.1 home runs per nine, and 2.7 walks per nine, while averaging 7.6 strikeouts per nine. His best percentile ranking is a 66th percentile in walk percentage, and his worst is all the way in the fifth percentile, that being expected slugging percentage.
This season, the Orioles were relying on Kremer to be a steadying force near the top of the rotation, and outside of a 6 2/3 inning shutout start against Washington, he just hasn't done that.
Cionel Pérez, RP
Another player who needs to step things up is another pitcher, this one out of the bullpen. After emerging as a dominant high leverage reliever in 2022, Cionel Pérez has not been able to replicate that success to start the 2023 season, leaving Yennier Cano and Mike Baumann to more leverage chances in the bullpen.
Not that those two haven't deserved it, but Pérez was supposed to ease that burden. He has a 5.23 ERA and hideous 2.516 WHIP through 10 1/3 innings, appearing in 13 games. One thing he does have going for him is that he hasn't allowed a home run all year, and a 4.23 FIP suggests some tough luck.
Pérez ranks highly in fastball velocity and barrel percentage, sitting in the 90th and 74th percentile respectively. It's a sharp drop after that, as his next best rating is the 44th percentile in expected slugging percentage. Additionally, he ranks in only the third percentile (yikes) in both whiff percentage and average exit velocity.
If the Orioles are to keep up this run they've been on, Pérez is a player that needs to turn things around, especially with Mychal Givens and Dillon Tate nearing their returns.
Anthony Santander, OF
One of the Orioles best bats last season, Santander is off to a bit of a slow start this season. He has just 10 extra base hits so far this season, split between eight doubles and two home runs. He's hitting only .213 and has a .280 on base percentage, so it's not as if he's drawing walks instead of getting hits.
The good news is that when he does make contact, he usually hits the ball hard, evident by a 85th percentile ranking in hard hit percentage. He also ranks in the 69th percentile in max exit velocity and the 67th percentile in average exit velocity.
If the Baltimore Orioles want to keep having the success they had in April, it's critical that these three players step up and play better as the calendar flips to May. Let's hope they can.