The Impact of Pitching Injuries on the Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles have been dealt a significant blow with the news that both John Means and Tyler Wells will miss the remainder of the season due to elbow problems that require surgery. Means, who returned late last season from Tommy John surgery, has only made eight starts since his return. Meanwhile, Wells, who made 43 starts over the past two years, has only managed three starts in 2024. General manager Mike Elias confirmed that both players will need to have their UCLs repaired, but the exact type of surgery and recovery time frames remain uncertain.

With Means and Wells sidelined, the Orioles’ pitching rotation has been significantly impacted. The absence of starting pitchers like Means and Kyle Bradish at the beginning of the season has already posed challenges for the team. Although Bradish has returned, Dean Kremer is currently sidelined due to a triceps strain. Elias expressed that the return of Means and Wells may not be until after the start of next season, highlighting the depth challenges the Orioles are facing.

Current Rotation and Potential Replacements

As the Orioles navigate through the absence of Means and Wells, the team’s current rotation includes Albert Suarez, Corbin Burnes, Grayson Rodriguez, Cole Irvin, and Kyle Bradish. Suarez, who started on Friday, delivered a solid performance by allowing only one run in five innings. Burnes has emerged as a standout pitcher for the Orioles, while Bradish and Irvin have also posted impressive ERAs. However, with the limited rotation options, the Orioles may need to explore alternatives until Kremer’s return.

Looking ahead, the Orioles are facing a challenging schedule with only one scheduled off day in June. The team is set to play against formidable opponents such as the Rays, Blue Jays, Braves, Phillies, Yankees, Astros, Guardians, and Rangers in the upcoming month. This grueling schedule underscores the importance of having a reliable pitching staff, especially with the existing injuries plaguing the rotation.

Exploring Pitching Options

The Orioles may have to consider alternative options to bolster their pitching staff in the absence of Means and Wells. With the team’s farm system primarily loaded with position players, left-hander Cade Povich has emerged as a potential candidate. Povich, who has been showcasing a strong performance in Triple-A Norfolk with a 5-1 record and a 2.35 ERA, is being closely monitored by the Orioles’ management. As the team navigates through a challenging stretch of games, the possibility of implementing a six-man rotation has been discussed to manage the workload effectively.

The season-ending injuries to John Means and Tyler Wells have presented significant challenges for the Baltimore Orioles. The team will need to rely on their existing rotation options and potentially explore alternative pitching solutions to navigate through a demanding schedule. As the Orioles strive to overcome the setbacks caused by injuries, the resilience and adaptability of the team will be put to the test in the coming weeks.

MLB

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