Orioles reveal 2024 Opening Day starting rotation

The Baltimore Orioles have announced their five starters heading into 2024.

Baltimore Orioles Photo Day
Baltimore Orioles Photo Day / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

With the start of the Baltimore Orioles regular season now less than a week away, the roster has begun to take shape. This past Thursday, the Orioles announced the five starting pitchers that they will use to begin the 2024 season. The names are who we expected, but the order might not be what you guessed.

It has previously been announced that Corbin Burnes will get the ball for the Orioles on Opening Day. Burnes is the ace pitcher the Orioles went into the offseason looking to acquire. The O's showed off a ton of talent in 2023, but the pitching staff seemed to run out of gas at the end of the season. The addition of Burnes is just what the doctor ordered. Not only is he a true ace with a Cy Young award to show for it, but he's a workhorse as well. Over the last three seasons, Burnes has averaged 31 starts and more than 187 innings per season, including 202.0 innings in 2022. He's made no secret about his intention to test free agency after this season, so he is highly motivated to make this campaign his best.

Orioles announce 2024 starting rotation behind Corbin Burnes

Stepping into the second spot in the rotation is Grayson Rodriguez. GrayRod was projected to make the starting rotation out of spring training last season, but he was beaten out by Tyler Wells. After starting the season in Triple-A, it didn't take long for Rodriguez to get his call to the show. He finished last season with decent numbers, but really seemed to come into his own in the second half. Rodriguez had it all working in September, when he went 3-1 in five starts with a 2.17 ERA and 32 strikeouts for the month. He's put together a solid spring training and looks to be this year's breakout star for the Birds.

The big surprise in the starting rotation this season is again Tyler Wells. After pitching his way into the the rotation last spring, Wells has pitched his way into the No. 3 spot this spring. The addition of Burnes seemed to knock Wells out of the rotation, but injuries to Kyle Bradish and John Means created an opening and Wells stepped right in. The righty was a revelation in the first half last season before battling arm fatigue in the second half. Wells will look to improve upon his success from last season and has gotten off to a great start so far, pitching to a 1.69 ERA with a 7/1 K/BB ratio.

Getting the first start of April will be Dean Kremer. Kremer gave the Orioles a big boost last season and finished with 13 wins against only five losses. He had his ups and downs last year in his first full season as a major leaguer, but he showed plenty of potential. Kremer was great in August, pitching to a 2.37 ERA with 23 strikeouts, and had a quality start in four of his five games, but seemed to hit a wall in September. He pitched nearly 50 more innings than his previous career high and fatigue got the best of him. Kremer has stated that he hopes to pitch 200 innings this season; it's a lofty goal, and we know he'll give it his best effort.

Rounding out the rotation is Cole Irvin. Irvin began last season in the rotation after being acquired from the Oakland A's, but struggled early and was sent down to Triple-A. A successful stint in the minors got Irvin recalled to Baltimore, where he pitched both as a starter and out of the bullpen. This season, Irvin was expected to be a long reliever, but the injuries to Bradish and Means have given Irvin a second chance at starting. He was ready for that chance.

Irvin worked hard in the offseason and the results were on display from the first time he took the hill in spring. Irvin has had an increased velocity on all of his pitches, including a fastball that averaged 92 mph in 2023 and was touching 96 mph this spring. He's been hit hard in his last two outings, but has shown that he can get the job done.

This is baseball, and very few things go as planned, so the Orioles are prepared, should a situation like Bradish getting hurt in his first outing last season occur again. Chayce McDemott and Cade Povich are both coming off of strong seasons that ended with the Triple-A national champion Norfolk Tides, so they are just one call away. This is not to mention spring training standouts like Julio Teheran and Albert Suarez who could make a start if needed until Bradish and Means return.