This, that and the other

Dean Kremer white jersey

Orioles starter Dean Kremer fell short of achieving Super 2 status and becoming eligible for arbitration. The cutoff was set at two years and 118 days of service time, down from two years and 128 days in 2022.

Kremer missed it this year at two years and 112 days.

The season was mostly a success for Kremer, who finished 13-5 with a 4.12 ERA in a career high 32 starts and 172 2/3 innings. Eleven of his victories occurred in night games, tied with teammate Kyle Gibson for second-most in the American League.

I can’t leave it at that. More digging must be done here, and I’m the man with the shovel.

According to STATS research, Steve Stone owns the club record with 24 victories in night games in 1980. Stone won the Cy Young Award in the American League with a 25-7 record.

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DL Hall: "I'm good to go now"

hall exits debut

SARASOTA, Fla. – The wave of injury news yesterday that dampened an otherwise energetic atmosphere surrounding the first workout for pitchers and catchers, and a return to spring training normalcy after three years of chaos, didn’t carry DL Hall out of the Orioles’ opening day plans.

Not in Hall’s mind, anyway.

Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias revealed that Hall began experiencing soreness in his lower right lumbar area about three weeks ago, putting the rookie behind other pitchers in camp. Not as serious as Dillon Tate’s strained right flexor/forearm that could cost him the first month of the season. Perhaps not as threatening as Félix Bautista’s rehab on his left knee and work to strengthen his right shoulder that might limit his innings to where he can’t break camp with the team. But a red flag nonetheless when it’s raised above one of the top pitching prospects.

Hall said this morning that he felt “some minor discomfort” in his lower back. “Nothing too crazy.”

“Obviously, I’m already on the way back up,” he said. “I’ve already started back throwing and everything. I just shut down for a couple weeks. I’m good to go now.”

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Revisiting roll call of Orioles' non-roster invites to spring training


The Orioles sent out their list of non-roster invites to spring training yesterday with the understanding that other names could appear later. Thirty wasn’t a set number. There’s always room for Jell-O and more lockers at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.

Within hours, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Norfolk. He, too, will be in Sarasota, giving the Orioles 38 pitchers in camp, including 12 of the non-roster variety.

The possibility still exists that the Orioles make a waiver claim, sign a free agent or consummate another trade. They aren’t shutting down.

“We’re still working on stuff,” executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said yesterday during a Q&A with fans at Wilde Lake High School.

Could be pitching, an infielder or an outfielder. And it could be a major league contract.

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Checking on some competitions while waiting for camp information


“When do you head down to spring training?”

I was asked again this week during dinner with some friends. I smiled, shrugged and offered the usual time frame.

Major League Baseball hasn’t shared the report date for pitchers and catchers, which coincides with my report date. We usually know months ago.

The Rays arrive on Feb. 14, with their first workout held the following day. But they’re in upheaval after Hurricane Ian hit Port Charlotte hard in late September.

Every March home game will be played at Tropicana Field. The Orioles visit on the 5th.

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Pérez provides example of hugely successful waiver claim

perez shouts gray

The Winter Meetings that begin Sunday in San Diego will maintain or create new dialogues between Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias and various executives and scouts. Talks aimed at producing a trade or free agent signing, or building momentum toward resolutions later in the offseason.

The Orioles have been fairly predictable in the past, but moving into a more competitive stage, with a more aggressive attitude, could change that entirely.

What should stay the same is the annual selection in the Rule 5 draft, the only interruption blamed on the lockout, unless picking 17th costs them the players they wanted. They aren’t averse to passing.

They could add to the list of waiver claims that includes third baseman Rio Ruiz at the 2018 Winter Meetings, Elias’ first major league addition, reliever Marcos Diplán at the 2019 event and pitcher Ashton Goudeau in 2020.

It always leads to the line, “Assuring that they won’t go home with just a Rule 5 pick.”

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Making the farm system productive for the big league team

Heston Kjerstad Aberdeen batting white

When it comes to the young talent in a big league club’s organization – the prospects – there are several ways they can help you. The most obvious one would be to make the team and help you win games. That is the first goal. But they can also help bring talent to a team via trades.

Sometimes when we take a look at how a winning or championship team was built, a story will list the home-grown players, but they seldom list players that were acquired through trades of home-grown talent.

In my recent conversation with’s senior writer Jim Callis, he pointed out yet another way those prospects help. Young talent with little service time is often at the lower end of the salary spectrum. So amassing such talent can save the big league club money to spend elsewhere on other needs.

So yeah, young talent is quite important and coveted. Maybe now more than ever. 

“The teams with the very best farm systems almost always contend about a year earlier than you expect,” Callis pointed out in our recent interview. “And the Orioles did that this year. Sometimes they take a step back the next year and then they are good to go, smooth sailing from there. The Astros are a team that comes to mind. The Cubs come to mind. It happens a lot.

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