A day after well-regarded prospects Keegan Akin and Ryan Mountcastle helped the Orioles to a dominant win over the New York Yankees in what manager Brandon Hyde called a little glimpse of the future, the team is providing another one.
Right-hander Dean Kremer, one of the organization’s top pitching prospects, will make his major league debut Sunday and start against the New York Yankees, the team announced.
“He’s been throwing the ball well in his secondary site,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s built up as a starter. He’s thrown quite a few pitches in his last outing, so I’m going to let him go. I like the way he threw in spring training. I like his stuff. I like the pitch mix that he has, he’s got a starter arsenal with four pitches. Knows how to pitch and strike people out, I like the off-speed stuff. I’m excited to hand the ball to him to make his debut. It’s a day he’ll never forget, and a special day for him. I want him to have fun and enjoy it.”
Kremer, 24, was one of five players acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a July 2018 trade for star infielder Manny Machado. Kremer was in the middle of a breakout season at the time of the trade, and ended up leading all minor leaguers with 178 strikeouts that season.
The young right-hander couldn’t take advantage of an invitation to major league camp ahead of the 2019 season due to an oblique injury, but rebounded nicely once healthy with a 2.99 ERA back at Double-A Bowie before ending the season at Triple-A Norfolk.
He would have been back with the Tides after an impressive spring training earlier this year if not for the coronavirus shutdown and canceled minor league season. Instead, he’s been at the team’s alternate camp in Bowie preparing for Sunday to come.
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Kremer will become the second Israeli major leaguer, and first prospect from that Machado trade to appear for the Orioles. Yusniel Diaz and Rylan Bannon, two others, are at the secondary site in Bowie as well.
In addition to Akin and Mountcastle, infielder Ramón Urías made his major league debut for the Orioles this season, giving them four such players in the shortened season.
Kremer takes the rotation spot of veteran right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, who has labored to a 5.17 ERA and been plagued by short outings this year.
“We took Asher out of the rotation because we would like to see Dean get some starts this last month of the season,” Hyde said. “Asher is still going to be in a swing role. I think a lot can still happen here the next few weeks, so I wouldn’t totally dismiss him making any more starts the rest of the year. I think there’s going to be opportunity to make more starts, possibly.
“But right now, Dean is on regular rest. We wanted Dean to make this start. We wanted to see what he can do in September this year, and we’re excited the way he’s been throwing the ball in Bowie and looking forward to him finishing the year here and making some starts for us.”