Kremer starts Saturday, Hays nearing return and more

The Orioles have filled out their rotation for the weekend series in Texas and Dean Kremer is replacing TBD for Saturday night.

Kremer is working on short rest after starting Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Mariners, but he threw 54 pitches and has indicated that he’s feeling good. Otherwise, the Orioles could have selected one of their long relievers, with the candidates including Wade LeBlanc and Adam Plutko.

“We feel confident that he’s going to be fine for it,” said manager Brandon Hyde via Zoom. “He wants to pitch on that Saturday. Fifty-four pitches is almost like an extended bullpen, so he’s plenty rested and ready to go.”

Outfielder Austin Hays is nearing a return from the injured list. He played yesterday in an intrasquad game at the secondary training site in Bowie and is getting more at-bats today and Saturday.

The Orioles are playing the Nationals this afternoon in Fredericksburg.

Hyde indicated that Hays could be activated late this weekend, depending on his recovery from game action, or Tuesday in south Florida.

“We have that off-day Monday to play with also,” Hyde said. “So either Sunday or we wait one more day after the off-day and hopefully Tuesday in Miami.

“I think Austin’s a good player and he was playing really well in Boston, so we’re looking forward to getting him back here and getting him playing. He adds a lot. He has speed, he has defense, he has the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark, a guy that can really get on a fastball. Just got to try to keep him healthy and he’s going to be a contributor for us.”

The taxi squad for the road trip includes outfielder Yusniel Diaz, the No. 9 prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com. Diaz hasn’t played above the Double-A level, but he’s getting exposure to a major league environment.

Also on the trip are catcher Austin Wynns, infielder Richie Martin, and relievers Isaac Mattson and Cole Sulser.

Sulser was the 27th man in yesterday’s doubleheader and struck out two batters in a scoreless inning.

Cedric Mullins has 12 hits in six road games, the second-highest total in the American League.

Franco-Peers-from-Dugout-Sidebar.jpgMaikel Franco has five at-bats this month with exit velocities of 110-plus mph, recording a single (111.4), ground out (111.3), home run (111.2), double (111.0) and double (110.1), respectively. The rest of the Orioles have a combined four at-bats with a batted ball resulting in 110-plus mph velo.

Pedro Severino is a career .357/.438/1.071 (5-for-14) hitter against the Rangers in five games, including his three homer outburst on June 4, 2019 in Texas.

The Orioles are 2-8 in their last 10 games against the Rangers.

They won’t improve that mark if the offense doesn’t come alive.

“I do think it’s still early. You see there’s a lot of teams that are expected to score more that aren’t right now,” Hyde said.

“I believe in our offense. You look at our numbers and six months from now they’re not going to look like that. I really think that we have some good hitters on this team. I think that we’ve gotten off to a little bit of a slow start offensively. First three series I thought we faced really, really good pitching. (Justin) Dunn was very, very good yesterday at the end of that second game. So, it’s just been a little bit of a challenge.

“I do buy into that hitting is contagious. There is momentum in hitting. When you create traffic on the bases, you’re creating longer pitch counts for pitchers. I think it does make it easier for everybody else. We’re just in a little bit of a team rut right now offensively and I feel like we get a couple guys going that we’re going to be in good shape. (Anthony) Santander, (Trey) Mancini, Ryan Mountcastle, I believe in these guys offensively. I think they’re going to produce a lot of runs for us this year.”

Getting back on the road, where the Orioles won four of six games before a 1-6 homestand, isn’t necessarily a tonic for what’s ailing them.

“I don’t think so,” Hyde said. “I think we just need to play well.”

For the Rangers
Isiah Kiner-Falefa SS
Nate Lowe 1B
Joey Gallo RF
Adolis García LF
David Dahl DH
Nick Solak 2B
Jose Trevino C
Anderson Tejeda 3B
Leody Taveras CF

Mike Foltynewicz RHP

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