O's hope these two pitchers keep taking steps forward in 2023

Bradish pitching white

Sure, the Orioles will be looking for a top-end rotation pitcher this winter, and maybe they actually add that guy or guys through free agency or via a trade.

But their rotation hopes for 2023 also would include seeing two young pitchers that took steps forward last season building on that. Those pitchers are right-handers Dean Kremer, who went 8-7 with a 3.23 ERA, and Kyle Bradish, who was 4-7 with a 4.90 ERA.

While these young pitchers completed their development, or are doing so on the Orioles watch, they both came in trades. All teams want to draft and develop young pitching, but you are happy to get it anywhere you can.

These pitchers did some encouraging things, especially later in the year, in 2022. Like shutting down the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros on back-to-back nights at Camden Yards on Sept. 22-23.

They combined to throw 17 2/3 scoreless innings with two walks and 16 strikeouts combined. During that series, former Oriole Trey Mancini was among those impressed by the Baltimore right-handers, and he talked to me about the pitchers in the visiting clubhouse at Oriole Park.

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Some of the newly acquired pitchers get off to good starts for O's farm

camden yards

Most of the six new pitchers the Orioles acquired in the recent trades of Trey Mancini to Houston and Jorge López to Minnesota have gotten off to good starts for their new organization.

The Orioles added three top 30 prospects.

For Mancini they got right-hander Seth Johnson from Tampa Bay. He underwent Tommy John surgery on Aug. 3, so the Orioles won’t see him for a while, but MLBPipeline.com ranks him as the club's No. 8 prospect. Baseball America has him at No. 10. After Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall, Johnson is now the Orioles' third highest-rated pitcher.

The O’s also added 23-year-old right-hander Chayce McDermott from Houston in that deal. He now ranks as Baltimore’s No. 12 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, and No. 17 in Baseball America's estimation. In two games with the Orioles' high Single-A Aberdeen team, he has allowed two runs and three hits in five innings, going 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA with one walk to 10 strikeouts.

In the deal with Minnesota, the O’s added lefty Cade Povich, also pitching at Aberdeen. In his first start for his new organization, he threw six scoreless innings on one hit last Saturday. MLBPipeline.com ranks Povich as the O’s No. 26 prospect, while Baseball America puts him at No. 29.

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A look at the pitchers the Orioles got in the Jorge López deal

yennier cano twins

In a move designed to obtain future talent for a current All-Star closer, the Orioles today traded right-hander Jorge López to the Minnesota Twins for a package of four pitchers. And yes, they made this move while they are just 2 1/2 games out of the last American League playoff spot.

Here is a bit more on the four players they got from the Twins for López, a player the Orioles acquired via waivers from the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 9, 2020. This season he has recorded 19 saves with a 1.68 ERA.

The O's added left-hander Cade Povich, a third-round pick out of Nebraska in 2021 (No. 98 overall) who has pitched this year at high Single-A Cedar Rapids. He is 6-8 with a 4.46 ERA. In 78 2/3 innings, he has allowed 71 hits and nine homers with 26 walks and 107 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP. He has a 2.97 walk rate and 12.24 strikeout rate.

One scout I spoke with said his fastball averages in the 92 mph range but has touched 96 this season. He also throws a curveball in the high 70s, slider in the 80-81 range and a firm changeup around 84 mph. The scout liked his slider as his best secondary and described him as “polished, college lefty.” He throws a lot of strikes, especially with his fastball and slider, and mixes in the other pitches as chase and putaway offerings.

MLB.com and MLBPipeline.com's Jim Callis discussed Povich on MLB Network.

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Orioles trade Jorge López to Twins

jorge lopez pitches gray

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Orioles proved this morning that they weren’t done dealing. And the distance between them and the last wild card spot wouldn’t matter.

Closer Jorge López has been traded to the Twins for four minor league pitchers. Both teams announced it a few minutes ago.

The Orioles are receiving left-handers Cade Povich and Juan Rojas, and right-handers Yennier Canó and Juan Nuñez.

More talent for the pipeline. Another important member of a surprise contender, with high velocity and character, headed out the door.

López made his first All-Star team this year and led the Orioles with 19 saves while posting a 1.68 ERA and 0.972 WHIP in 44 games in his first season as closer. He struck out 54 batters in 48 1/3 innings.

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