One of the most talked about spring training battles in Sarasota for the Baltimore Orioles has been the starting rotation. The only sure things to make the rotation are Kyle Gibson and Cole Irvin, with Grayson Rodriguez at about 95 percent certainty to make the vaunted group, too. Beyond that, there is quite a bit of competition for the final two spots.
One of the pitchers in the mix, Kyle Bradish, has been making his case for the starting rotation well known. Especially with guys like Austin Voth, who has an 8.22 ERA this spring, and Tyler Wells creating roller-coaster uncertainty, the success of Bradish is important for the Orioles as they look to round out the rotation.
When the Orioles squared off against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, it was Bradish on the mound. He became the first Orioles pitcher to make three spring starts and also the first one to work four innings. They were four pretty good innings, too.
Bradish delivered the K to Twins batters quite often in his four innings, punching out eight hitters on the night with some help from a 30 percent changeup usage. Four of those eight strikeouts were looking. He would've had four shutout innings, too, if it weren't for Matt Wallner hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning. Brandon Hyde said the following about Gibson's outing:
"Showed really good stuff again. Some deep counts there early but I thought he got better as the game went on. Really good breaking ball. Love that he's throwing that two-seamer that he introduced second half of last year that made a huge difference. He's just carried that work into this year. He's doing a great job so far this spring."- Orioles manager Brandon Hyde
In his three starts on the spring, Bradish has done a good job of keeping his opponents off the scoreboard. In nine innings pitched, he's allowed two runs on four hits, walking two hitters while striking out a dozen. I'm not a baseball expert, but that's not hurting his rotation chances at all.
Early in the spring, it's clear that the improvements made by Bradish in the second half of the 2022 season are carrying over. That's a good sign for both Bradish and the Orioles, as they look to gain more clarity on who's going to be in the rotation with Opening Day getting closer and closer.