Latest Orioles bullpen injury could prove costly without aggressive trade deadline

Baltimore's already shaky pitching depth took a hit, as yet another injury struck their bullpen.
Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles / G Fiume/GettyImages

It was already a given that the Baltimore Orioles were going to at least kick the tires on the pitching trade market at the trade deadline. John Means' and Tyler Wells' season-ending Tommy John surgeries have left their rotation looking pretty thin, and the bullpen was already pretty speculative the rest of the season with Felix Bautista out for the year and Craig Kimbrel both having an up-and-down year and also being 36 years old.

Unfortunately, the Orioles' troubles with their arms continue, as it was revealed that stalwart reliever Danny Coulombe was headed for the injured list with the dreaded elbow inflammation that has seemingly plagued all of MLB this season.

Orioles News: Danny Coulombe being placed on the IL adds urgency to search for bullpen depth

While Coulombe generally goes about his work quietly and with little fanfare, he has been a critical piece of the Orioles' bullpen since Baltimore traded for him in March 2023. In his 90 appearances since joining the team, Coulombe has posted a 2.68 ERA while striking out 10 batters per nine innings pitched. In a lot of ways, he may be one of the more underappreciated pieces of this Orioles roster and losing him for any amount of time is likely to be felt.

The good news is that the early indications are that Coulombe's arm injury isn't thought to be serious. While Baltimore is going to be cautious, especially given what happened with Means' arm injury, and give Coulombe a thorough examination, the initial reports are that the team doesn't believe there is any ligament damage and that he just needs some downtime to let his arm calm down.

Even if Coulombe bounces right back, the Orioles must know that they need to add some bullpen help at the trade deadline, given how volatile bullpen arms can be. Fortunately, there are some pretty solid relief options that are expected to be available at the deadline and Baltimore obviously has plenty of prospect depth to make almost any deal they want to happen. Whether it is for a top-tier late inning option or multiple depth pieces for the stretch run, the one thing the Orioles now can't afford to do is let the deadline pass them by without addressing the bullpen.

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