Dillon Tate emerged as a key late-inning reliever for the Orioles in 2022. Before trying to repeat that role in 2023, he’ll represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
Tate, 28, joins Baltimore center fielder Cedric Mullins on Team USA. Orioles right-hander Dean Kremer will play for Team Israel, and more players could announce their intent to participate in the WBC, scheduled for March 8-21, in the coming weeks.
In his fourth major league season, Tate posted a 3.05 ERA in 73 2/3 innings, the second most out of the bullpen among Orioles behind only long reliever Keegan Akin. Tate served as manager Brandon Hyde’s primary right-handed setup man, earning a career-high five saves as an occasional fill-in for closers Jorge López and Félix Bautista. His strikeout rate of 20.5% was a more than 3% improvement from 2021 and his 5.5% walk rate was a career low. The sinkerballer’s 57.4% groundball rate was the eighth best of any reliever who threw at least 50 innings in 2022, according to Fangraphs.
The lone player left in the organization of the three acquired from the New York Yankees in July 2018 for All-Star closer Zack Britton, Tate was also the Orioles’ 2022 Roberto Clemente Award nominee, recognizing humanitarian actions off the field.