In an Orioles bullpen that has faced plenty of turnover one month into the 2019 campaign, Sunday marked perhaps a record day of change. Excluding the three position players manager Brandon Hyde has sent to the mound, the Orioles have deployed 18 relief pitchers this season, the most in baseball.
Sunday, the Orioles recalled catcher Austin Wynns and right-handers Branden Kline and Luis Ortiz from Triple-A Norfolk. Right-hander Alex Cobb was placed on the injured list, right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis was optioned to Norfolk, and catcher Jesús Sucre was designated for assignment.
After a minor league career that included three elbow surgeries and a move to the bullpen, Branden Kline, a Frederick native and the Orioles' second-round pick in the 2012 draft, got his first major league call-up Saturday as the 26th man for the Orioles' doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.
Projecting the Orioles' Opening Day roster after a round of cuts including Austin Hays, Anthony Santander, and Cody Carroll provided plenty of clarity into Mike Elias and Brandon Hyde's reasoning as they build the 25-man roster.
Nate Karns didn't pitch for over a week in a game due to arm soreness, and manager Brandon Hyde said that hinders him being able to be stretched out to start the year in the Orioles' rotation to start the season.
Branden Kline spoke to The Baltimore Sun about how the measures of success change for players like him, how and why he's better than before, and how his injuries and subsequent return changed his outlook on life and the game.
For all the turnover the Orioles bullpen experienced last summer with their trades of Zack Britton, Brad Brach, and Darren O'Day, things stayed relatively stable this offseason at the back end of the bullpen.
Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said on the 105.7 The Fan Orioles Hot Stove show that the club had done background on dozens of managerial candidates and was past phase one of the search to replace Buck Showalter.
Many of the Orioles' prizes from their July teardown trades were dealt by their prior clubs with this week in mind — when they'd have to be added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 draft. But only one remained to be added by Tuesday's deadline — right-hander Dillon Tate.
Almost a full month after they dismissed executive vice president Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter, ushering in a new era of Orioles baseball once new hires are made, what that means for the offseason is only now coming into focus.
The Orioles added right-hander Branden Kline to the 40-man roster Wednesday to keep him away from minor league free agency and eventually, the Rule 5 draft, after his stellar return from injury in 2018.