Birdland had strength and depth across most of their roster during their run to the playoffs. The bullpen was one area that came under criticism at certain points, but it also dazzled when Brandon Hyde needed it to.
Several pitchers earned calls to the All-Star Game while others performed strongly in the second half. In the end, two superstars and one surprise name were crucial in getting October baseball back to Camden Yards.
The Top 3 Relief Pitchers for Baltimore in 2023
1. Felix Bautista
The American League's Reliever of the Year, Felix Bautista, was revolutionary for Baltimore before his late-season injury. His dominant 1.48 ERA is a testament to how hard it was to get solid contact on "The Mountain."
Bautista's 33 saves, despite his injury, saw him finish in the top ten for the majors. The handful that he missed would have placed him in the top three. His deadly fastball earned him 110 K's over a mere 61 innings pitched.
2. Yennier Cano
Birdland's second All-Star, along with Bautista, Yennier Cano was the setup man whose start to the season caught everyone's attention. A 2.11 ERA and the eight saves he picked up in the closing weeks are two signs that his presence was instrumental in the O's postseason crusade.
Praise for Cano included some dubbing him "baseball's best reliever." His role with the ballclub in 2024 could remain the same, or depending on how well Craig Kimbrel pitches, the 29-year-old has the possibility of becoming the Orioles' closer.
3. Danny Coulombe
A rough patch in the middle of the campaign did not define Danny Coulombe's entire 2023 season. His 2.81 ERA was impressive, considering much of it came during a stretch of disastrous outings. 58 K's in only 51 1/3 innings was an impressive statline.
Coulombe's most important statistic was the lack of free bases he gave. At 2.1 BB/9, he gave up fewer walks per 9 innings than any other qualifying relief pitcher except for Cano. Additionally, his 1.1 WHIP was behind only Bautista's and Cano's in the bullpen.