Orioles promote spring training star to try and bolster injured rotation

Baltimore is hoping that one of their surprises from spring can translate that success to the regular season.
Mar 15, 2024; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA;  Baltimore Orioles pitcher Albert Suarez (92) throws a
Mar 15, 2024; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcher Albert Suarez (92) throws a / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Like a lot of teams around the league, the Baltimore Orioles have had to deal with multiple injuries to their pitching staff in 2024. It was already known that Felix Bautista was going to be out, Kyle Bradish and John Means are working their way back from injuries, and now Tyler Wells is hitting the injured list with elbow inflammation. In short, it hasn't been good vibes when it comes to pitcher injuries in 2024.

Wells' injury posed some interesting choices for the Orioles. In theory, they could have gone with top pitching prospect Cade Povich, who has been shoving down at Triple-A, with Chayce McDermott also being a potential option. Bradish and Means aren't quite ready to go yet, but are certain to return in the near future, so using a minor-league option for Povich or McDermott may not be wise for a short-term call-up.

The Orioles seem to agree and instead turned to one of the stars of Baltimore's spring training this year, calling up Albert Suarez from Triple-A to start on Wednesday.

Orioles News: Albert Suarez recalled from the minors, catcher David Banuelos designated for assignment

Suarez was such a fun story from spring training, as he seemingly found big-time strikeout stuff after a lengthy road back to competing for a big league roster spot. Suarez last pitched in the majors in 2017, and while he didn't quite make the cut out of camp this year, he clearly made a good enough impression to get this opportunity with Wells out.

After leading all Orioles pitchers this spring in strikeouts, Suarez's time in Triple-A in 2024 hasn't been nearly as good. The 34-year-old has posted a 5.87 ERA in his three appearances with Norfolk, including a start. Notably, he has at least continued racking up the strikeouts in the minors. He has also been pounding the strike zone as well, only walking a single batter this season.

This is a pretty savvy move by the Orioles, as Suarez has the upside to give Baltimore a strong start in the short-term while they wait for Means and Bradish to get right without starting the service clock of their top pitching prospects. That said, he also has had some rough patches, and against big league hitters, he is going to really have to spot his stuff well to pitch deep into the game on Wednesday. If he doesn't find success early, don't be surprised if his 2024 Orioles debut turns into a bullpen game in a hurry.

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