In the early weeks of the season, the Orioles held their prospects back in the minor leagues while a number of other teams, contenders and otherwise, started promoting people. The O’s have started fixing that more recently, including today. Pitching prospect Dean Kremer is joining the Orioles to make his MLB debut in Sunday’s start.
Kremer, 24, was part of the Orioles trade return from the Dodgers in the Manny Machado deal two years ago. The right-hander missed a little time last season but had fine results in 15 starts with Double-A Bowie, with a 2.98 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 84.2 innings. He followed that up with good results in the Arizona Fall League. Rule 5 draft eligible this past offseason, it was a no-brainer that the Orioles would add him to the 40-man roster.
The way was paved for this move on Saturday night, when the Orioles made room on the roster by demoting David Hess back to the alternate training site and did not immediately announce either a corresponding move or Sunday’s starter. The mystery pointed to the idea that a prospect might be coming up from Bowie, and sure enough, that’s what happened.
If the 2020 season had gone off as expected, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see Kremer in the back half of the season, assuming he was looking good at Norfolk. The way it’s all worked out, there was no minor league season at all, and the Orioles have had to judge whether Kremer is ready for a debut based on what they can cobble together in scrimmage action at Bowie.
We’ll find out if he’s ready in a hurry, because though the Yankees have swooned lately, they’re still the Yankees and there will be tough hitters ready to feast if a rookie makes big mistakes. Fellow prospect Keegan Akin looked good against these same Yankees last night. Hopefully Kremer can do the same in the finale on Sunday.