2023 was a lost year for Keegan Akin. He took noticeable steps back from his surge in 2022 by posting an ERA just under 7 and a WHIP not far from 2 when he was healthy, which is not what the Orioles needed from one of their top lefty relievers entering the year.
In addition to his ineffectiveness, Akin also didn't pitch again in 2023 after a bad outing on June 28 against the Cincinnati Reds in which he allowed four runs in 2/3 of an inning. Akin was placed on the IL with a back injury, which didn't heal in time for him to return in 2023, as he ended the season on the 60 Day IL.
While Akin is healthy entering spring training, the Orioles have Danny Coulombe and Cionel Pérez firmly entrenched as their top two lefty relievers. If he doesn't land a rotation spot, Cole Irvin projects for the lefty long reliever role, while Nick Vespi represents solid depth with minor league options remaining, just like Akin.
Given what the Orioles have to offer in a strong bullpen and a lot of lefties vying for only a few spots, it's not far-fetched for Akin to be removed from the 40-man roster this season. Players have just passed him on the depth chart, so he's not as important to the team anymore.