Will Dean Kremer's impending return cause the Orioles to balk at trade deadline additions?

Orioles righty Dean Kremer is set to come off the IL for Wednesday night's matchup against the Mariners
Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels
Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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Orioles manager Brandon Hyde spoke to reporters on Tuesday about the impending return of right hander Dean Kremer. After missing six weeks with a triceps injury, Kremer is set to be activated off the IL and is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday night against the Mariners.

Kremer was ineffective during his rehab stint in Norfolk. He allowed 14 runs on 15 hits in 8.2 innings over 3 starts. He struck out 9 and walked 4, and looked to be struggling to miss bats in the zone.

In general, Kremer has taken a bit of a downturn in 2024 after being a reliable back of the rotation guy for the Orioles last year. In 50 innings so far, Kremer has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with a discouraging 4.88 FIP. He's been consistent in terms of plate discipline and has gotten plenty of whiffs, although the walk rate is up a tick from last year.

How much will Dean Kremer help the Orioles rotation?

As Orioles fans are well aware, Cole Irvin cratered in the month of June. After an extremely strong start, Irvin's ERA has risen to 4.13 and he looks to be pitching his way out of the Orioles rotation.

The losses of John Means, Kyle Bradish, and Tyler Wells to Tommy John surgery, along with Kremer's extended stint on the IL, had an outsized impact on Mike Elias' plans for the roster this summer. The call up of Cade Povich was necessary, but possibly a bit before he was ready for his debut.

While there are a number of spots on the roster that could be upgraded at the trade deadline, the rotation is as obvious a need as any other position group. The top of the rotation is strong but the back end lacks depth and it's a fair question whether the group of Kremer, Povich, and Irvin are good enough to win when it matters most.

Kremer will likely take Irvin's spot in the rotation for the time being but if the Orioles want to remain competitive down the stretch, they'll need to strongly consider reaching outside the organization for solutions.

Good options might be tough to find but it'll be a major risk for Mike Elias and his staff to head into October with the roster as currently constructed. Kremer will help the Orioles get through the summer, and should be a solid back end piece for the next three months. But his return shouldn't preclude the addition of another strong starting pitcher at the trade deadline.

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