Kyle Stowers makes strong case for more playing time after demolition of Red Sox

Stowers' hot streak may finally force the Orioles to make some tough roster choices.
May 27, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles outfielder Kyle Stowers (29) rounds third base to score in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
May 27, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles outfielder Kyle Stowers (29) rounds third base to score in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports / Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
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Playing time isn't easy to come by these days on the Baltimore Orioles. One could argue that they have the most offensive talent in the game on their everyday roster, other than maybe the Braves, and it probably isn't even a debate that they have the deepest amount of position players in baseball when you include their top guys at Triple-A. For a while, that meant that Kyle Stowers had to wait his turn and take advantage of the rare opportunities he did get.

When Baltimore decided to send Heston Kjerstad back to the minors, bringing up Stowers wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement. The team basically decided that, between the two players, Kjerstad was the one that they wanted to give everyday plate appearances to down in the minors. Still, after struggling to make an impact during his 2022 and 2023 stints in the majors, Stowers wasn't going to let this chance slip away.

Now, after destroying the Red Sox during the Orioles' series against Boston, Stowers is making a really strong case for more playing time and a more established role on Baltimore's roster.

Could Orioles' Kyle Stowers really cement himself as an everyday player?

There is a real danger in drawing too many conclusions from a small sample of games. Just like Jackson Holliday probably isn't going to be the worst player in baseball because he struggled during his first call-up, Stowers probably isn't the next Ted Williams because of 10 good games. However, in his 19 plate appearances in 2024, Stowers sports a .389/.368/.556 line (before you ask, OBP is lower than his batting average because of a sac fly and no walks to his name), including a 4 RBI game against Boston earlier this week.

Given that the Orioles have continued to try and make playing guys Austin Hays, Anthony Santander, and Cedric Mullins work with extremely iffy at best results, Stowers being on a heater could finally force the Orioles' hand with some of these underachievers. Baltimore just has too much talent at their disposal, with Stowers being just the tip of the iceberg, to stay the course with some of these guys.

Sure, there are arguments that the Orioles still need to cull their position player crop back and use them to fill areas of need, with Kjerstad being a prime potential (and very attractive) trade candidate, but the team also needs to start really evaluating what their priorities are. This is an Orioles team that absolutely could go the distance this year, but that isn't going to happen if they insist on playing multiple guys hitting .200 or lower, while talent like Stowers is on the bench and major roster upgrades are sitting at Triple-A.

If we start to see Stowers getting more and more playing time after his hot stretch, maybe that could be a sign that more and even bigger changes could be coming soon.

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