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Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: vs Guardians, 1:35

Dean Kremer returns from the IL to finally make his season debut, and it comes at a time when the Orioles could really use some rotation help.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The plan was for Dean Kremer to rack up the innings this year. The 26-year-old made the Orioles’ Opening Day roster, and was expected to be a bulk inning eater out of the bullpen to begin the year. Unfortunately, an oblique injury sustained while warming up in the first series of the season put him on the shelf until this weekend.

Kremer has diced up Triple-A hitters during his rehab. Over nine scoreless innings with Norfolk, the former Dodgers prospect struck out 18 and allowed just two hits and two walks. That is about as dominant as it gets. Of course, excelling in the minors has never ben a problem for Kremer. Translating that success to the big league staff has been the tough bit.

Although his season debut was delayed by nearly two months, it is coming at a perfect time for the Orioles. The starting rotation is starting to show the effects of losing John Means and Chris Ellis to season-ending injuries, not to mention stints on the shelf for a number of other arms, including Spenser Watkins and Alexander Wells.

This represents a golden opportunity for Kremer to show if he can stick as a big league starter. The 40-man options to start games in Baltimore are running thin, especially if Grayson Rodriguez’s debut is now pushed back for the foreseeable future. Kremer has the talent to be a back-end arm. He just needs to show it on the mound.

Orioles Starting Lineup

  1. Austin Hays, LF
  2. Trey Mancini, DH
  3. Anthony Santander, RF
  4. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B
  5. Ramón Urías, 3B
  6. Adley Rutschman, C
  7. Rougned Odor, 2B
  8. Ryan McKenna, CF
  9. Jorge Mateo, SS

Dean Kremer, RHP (season debut)

Guardians Starting Lineup

  1. Myles Straw, CF
  2. Amed Rosario, SS
  3. José Ramírez, 3B
  4. Owen Miller, 1B
  5. Andrés Giménez, 2B
  6. Oscar Gonzalez, RF
  7. Richie Palacios, DH
  8. Luke Maile, C
  9. Steven Kwan, LF

Zach Plesac, RHP (1-4, 4.93 ERA)