Earlier last week, we looked at the potential starting lineup and rotation of the Baltimore Orioles in 2023, a time when we should see the new wave of talent that Mike Elias has been promising us.
Over the course of this piece, we will look at the remaining part of the team, which includes the bullpen and the bench players, all who will play a key role in making the 2023 Baltimore Orioles one of the most exciting teams in baseball!
In 2023, the Orioles should have enough pitching depth that they will project to carry eight bullpen arms and four bench players. We will start off by examining the bench players!
**these are potential players**
Potential 2023 Orioles Bench:
- Brett Cumberland C
- Ryan McKenna OF
- Tyler Nevin 1B, 3B, OF
- Ramón Urías INF
Brett Cumberland: C
Austin Wynns provided value for the Orioles the last couple years, but it’s Brett Cumberland who will assume back up duties behind Adley Rutschman. Familiar with the role since being acquired from the Braves in 2018 and having caught all our starters, it was an easy move to make. Cumberland provides some pop off his bat but will range in the low .220-.230 area as a batter. Defensively, he calls a good game and will throw out about 35 to 40 percent of would be base stealers. Plus, working with Adley will only help improve his game.
Ryan McKenna: OF
Ryan McKenna came into the scene in 2021, when the Orioles brought him up for depth. This left many to wonder about Yusnial Díaz and his future with the team, and, unfortunately, that future didn’t last long in Birdland. McKenna’s game is centered on his speed. He is fast enough to play any of the three outfield positions. Defense is his staple, which allows for late inning replacements and spot starts for resting other outfielders. He has a solid contact swing, and he can find the gap fairly well, which is why this young ball player easily slots in as the fourth outfielder for our team.
Tyler Nevin: 1B, 3B, OF
The young and electric Tyler Nevin has made the swiss army knife his idol. Able to play four positions in a pinch, Nevin has value, not only off the bench, but can start if need be for an extended time. Once Nevin unlocked his true power potential, the sky became the limit. Not ready for full-time starter status, Nevin will talk with his bat, as his average and defense keeps improving. Look for him to make the most of his opportunities and make people wonder what a full time Nevin can become!
Ramón Urías: INF
Ramón Urías has proven that he has the ability to play every day, but his value is in his versatility. A quick bat with speed and a smooth glove with an average arm, Urías could easily be starting for a lesser team. He knows his talents, which when given the chance in 2021 were on full display, are valued and appreciated, as he has become the current version of Ryan Flaherty for this Orioles squad. The ability to play three of the main infield positions is why the Orioles went with a four-man bench; Urías made the decision easy.
Potential 2023 Orioles Bullpen:
One thing we found out about the Orioles during their rebuild, was that pitching became valuable, and we held some valuable arms. Our bullpen consists of players who have specific points in value and others, who could not only fill in to start, but give us the depth to maintain and hold games in short or long relief. Here is our bullpen for the 2023 season!
- Dean Kremer RHP/ Long Reliever
- Zac Lowther LHP/ Long Reliever
- Kevin Smith LHP/ Reliever
- Blaine Knight RHP/ Reliever
- Cody Sedlock RHP/ Reliever
- Drew Rom LHP/ Set-Up Man
- Kyle Bradish / Set-Up Man
- Tyler Wells / Closer
Dean Kremer: LRP
Dean Kremer was best known as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde during his 2020 and 2021 seasons. The right-hander was expected to be a rotation stalwart after his late season call-up and held his own over a four-game stint. Then 2021 came, and Kremer lost his ability to go past three to four innings of work. Being sent to the minors and seeing his dominance over short work, his value became as a long reliever. Kremer has since rewarded the Orioles with two plus innings of work and used his power fastball to dominate opposing hitters!
Zac Lowther: LRP
When Zac Lowther was climbing the minor league system, many envisioned him as a future middle rotation starter. His appearances in the majors showed a pitcher who was more comfortable being able to rare is back and let it go, rather than a calculating pace-of-game starter. Lowther has since excelled in a role that allows for three or four innings of work, but as a quick reliever to bridge to the next. He has found comfort in the long relief role since becoming a fixture in the 2023 Orioles.
Kevin Smith: MRP
Kevin Smith is a good enough pitcher to be a back end starter on some teams, but an even better pitcher working for an inning or two. His pitches come in as average but are deceptive and produce outs with little to no walks. Capable of a spot start, he plays a role of situational pitcher as well as it can be played. The Miguel Castro trade never looked better than it does in 2023!
Blaine Knight: MRP
Blaine Knight was in a difficult position, which shows the depth of arms for the Orioles, as he could very well have been a four or five starter. With a plus fastball and slider, he excels at the quick inning and situational usage to make great use of his value. His curveball grades as average, and his changeup has improved over the years. With a chance to be a future starter, he has to maximize his chances to prove his moxy, but his value is definitely showing for the team.
Cody Sedlock: MRP
The former first round pick has finally made his presence felt! After injuries slowed his growth, Cody Sedlock used the last two seasons to showcase what the Orioles saw in him. Grading out with a plus slider and change, his work up fastball holds deception to make his value in any situation strong. Capable of long outings if needed, it’s the short ones where he excels the best. The former first rounder has arrived and looks to be a staple of the future going forward!
Drew Rom: Set-Up Man
The surprise here is Drew Rom! He has a plus slider that he buries in the zone for strikes and an average fastball that will set it up well. He has improved his changeup, which can make for a surprise out pitch with an improving curveball. He took advantage of his opportunities and arrived earlier than expected. More than likely a situational lefty, Rom is still growing and has the chance to be something special down the road!
Kyle Bradish: Set-Up Man
A tall and lean machine, Kyle Bradish easily could have been a starter if not for the surplus of arms available for the Orioles. With his ability to pitch under pressure, Bradish has the distinct job of setting up for our closer to knock’em down in the eighth! With a fastball in the mid to upper 90’s and a curveball that comes in at the low 80’s, it’s easy to see why Bradish makes his staple here. His slider acts more like a cut fastball, and he throws a hard change, which could be just as dangerous. He uses power and control to keep batters on their toes, and he is capable of throwing any pitch at any time during an at-bat!
Tyler Wells: Closer
Another Rule 5 pick that turns out to be a positive for the Orioles is Tyler Wells! Making his presence known to all of baseball, this gem has yet to disappoint. An Oklahoma native first picked by the Twins, the 6’8″ righty has become a mainstay in the bullpen. With his gritty performances and a power fastball, Wells has learned to command his pitches as he wants and uses a hard changeup to throw off hitters. Carrying a four-pitch arsenal, Wells has the advantage of making his opponents guess, instead of being able to predict what is coming next. With his secondary pitches fully under his control, this could be a long-term solution as dangerous as Zack Britton was for the Orioles in save situations!
Our future is knocking on the door and is ready to take the majors by storm! As you can see, the talent is there, and the ability to carry depth and be long on arms has allowed the Orioles to arrive just in time to surprise the baseball world! The future is here, and 2023 looks like when it will all come together!
What do you think of this potential bench and bullpen for the 2023 O’s? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and follow our podcast, The Walk-Off, on YouTube and Spotify! And, make sure to use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content to show your Birdland swag!