Orioles starter Kyle Bradish set to make his season debut vs. Yankees

Kyle Bradish has returned to Baltimore just in time.
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game One
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game One / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles have announced Kyle Bradish as the expected starter for the series finale against the New York Yankees. Bradish has been officially activated and will make his season debut on May 2, and the timing could not be better. 

Bradish reported to spring training on February 15 with the rest of the pitchers and catchers. Fans were excited to see him pair up with the newly acquired Corbin Burnes to form one of baseball’s best duo’s at the top of a rotation. Unfortunately, Bradish went on the IL almost immediately with a sprained UCL. 

After being expected to be the team’s number two starter, Bradish would instead start the season on the 15-day IL and began a rehab assignment. The worst-case scenario was that his elbow would get worse and the O’s would lose him for the season to Tommy John surgery. The best-case scenario had Bradish returning to the Orioles rotation in early May. 

Fortunately, the best-case scenario is the one that played out, as Bradish made quick work of his rehab assignment. He needed just three appearances, split between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, before the Orioles realized he was ready. Bradish’s first game came in Bowie. He pitched 3.0 innings of one-hit ball while striking out four batters and walking no one. He threw 44 pitches, 26 for strikes, but most importantly had no pain after the game. 

Kyle Bradish's rehab history led to best-case scenario Orioles return

Bradish looked so good in his first outing the Orioles wasted no time and called him up to Triple-A. In his second outing, Bradish experienced some adversity. In 3.1 innings, Bradish yielded four runs on six hits, including a home run, again striking out four but walking three. Bradish upped his pitch count to 64 in his second game, but struggled with his control, throwing only 37 for strikes. 

His third outing came on April 26 and he looked good. Bradish allowed one run on five hits in 5.0 innings, striking out six hitters and walking just one. Bradish earned his first win of the season and again upped his pitch total to 77, throwing 49 strikes. Bradish had his fastball and sinker sitting comfortably in the mid 90s and was using his full repertoire of pitches. When he still had no pain or discomfort in his elbow, the Orioles announced that Bradish’s next start would come in an Orioles uniform.

Six days later, Bradish is set to face the Yankees in a heavyweight matchup between two of the best teams in baseball. The timing of Bradish’s return allows him to step into the rotation spot that has just been vacated by Grayson Rodriguez; the O's righty has just been put on the 15-day IL with shoulder inflammation.

Yohan Ramirez, who was acquired by the Orioles in a trade with the Mets in mid-April, has been designated for assignment in a corresponding move.