Bowie, MD. - Double-A Bowie left-hander Keegan Akin, who is having one of the best seasons of any Orioles minor league pitcher, left his start tonight against Akron due to groin tightness. Akin was throwing his warmup tosses before the top of the fifth when he apparently felt something. He bent over on the mound as athletic trainer Brian Guzman came out to check on him. Akin the left the game and walked directly from the mound to the Baysox clubhouse down the right field line.
The Orioles’ second-round pick in 2016 out of Western Michigan University, Akin began tonight with an 8-5 record and 2.53 ERA through 14 starts. He took the mound tonight leading the Eastern League in strikeouts, was second in ERA and tied for second in wins. He had pitched to a 1.16 ERA over his previous five starts.
Tonight Akin struggled with his control through a four-inning outing in which he allowed two runs on one hit with a career-high six walks and five strikeouts. He walked the leadoff batter in the first and second innings and walked the first two batters in the top of the third.
He threw a whopping 82 pitches through three frames, 42 for strikes. But he finally got locked in during a 1-2-3 top of the fourth, getting a strikeout, groundout and foul out on 11 pitches. But then he left the game before the start of the fifth inning.
At this point it is obviously too early to know if Akin will miss any starts and/or how long he might be out. We should get more information after the game, so check back here for that.
Update: After the game Bowie manager Gary Kendall provided this on Akin’s groin tightness:
“He didn’t feel it until the last inning (the fourth) when he came off the field. He said ‘I’m just a little tight.’ So we got (Luis) Gonzalez up and he started throwing. Then Guzzy (trainer Brian Guzman) said he wants to go out there and make a couple of warmup pitches and see how he feels. He thinks it will stretch out. He threw two and he just couldn’t do it. It didn’t get any looser.”
Kendall said Akin will now get some treatment for that, and that he hopes Akin can make his next start.