Plutko finds home in Orioles' bullpen; Valaika called up; Kremer returning on Wednesday -

Rich Dubroff

Plutko finds home in Orioles’ bullpen; Valaika called up; Kremer returning on Wednesday

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—Pitcher Adam Plutko knew some Orioles when he was acquired from the Cleveland Indians on March 27th.

“I came up with Shawn Armstrong and Cole Sulser in the Indians’ system,” he said. “Position player-wise, Anthony Santander was an Indian, as well, and Rio Ruiz and Dillon Tate are from my area, and Pat Valaika and I were roommates in college.

“I had a good idea of a lot of guys on the team, but as far as personalities and how things worked, we didn’t play the Orioles in 2020. To be honest, they weren’t a focus of mine at all because we didn’t have to play them. I had no idea who anybody was in the bullpen, in all honesty.

“Now, I’m excited to be here, and it’s been a great transition for me. I’m just happy that I could fit in with these guys that have been doing a heck of a job for a really long time.”

Plutko, a 29-year-old right-hander, is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 12 2/3 innings.

“He’s done great,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We have an innings-eater, length guy that’s done a bunch of different things from start to relieve, be a long reliever, but what he’s done here, we’ve started trusting him here in big spots in the middle to later part of the game because he throws strikes. He’s getting guys out.

“He’s been a pleasant surprise to this point, and I’d trust him in any kind of situation.”

The Orioles’ bullpen has a 3.08 ERA, and Plutko’s versatility has helped. His introduction to the team was a positive one.

“They didn’t want to change a whole lot,” Plutko said. “I’ve been successful before in the big leagues. It’s not like we needed to overhaul things, it was more slight tweaks and mixing things differently. Hearing it in a different voice, maybe.


“Familiarity breeds contempt, right? In some ways, I feel like Cleveland and I have known each other for so long, it wasn’t contentious. It was almost like, ‘he’s this, he’s this, he’s this,’ and then I got here, it was like, ‘we really feel you can be that over there.’

“I’m like, ‘that’s a breath of fresh air. I’ve been told like, I’m over here, and you guys think I can be over there.’”

Valaika recalled: The Orioles recalled infielder Pat Valaika from the alternate training site at Double-A Bowie. Valaika was needed because Freddy Galvis strained a groin muscle during Monday night’s 4-2 win over the Yankees.

“He’s a little bit sore,” Hyde said. “It was great for him to speak up when he did before it got worse and, hopefully, he’ll be back in the next couple of days.”

Valaika is batting ninth and playing shortstop on Tuesday night against the Yankees.

Valaika began the season with the Orioles but was sent to the alternate site on April 9th to make room for DJ Stewart’s return from the 10-day injured list.  He was 1-foir-9 (.111) in four games.

“With Freddy being a little bit unsure on when he’ll be back, it’s good to add an extra infielder,” Hyde said. “We wanted to get Pat back here. I thought Pat had a really good year for us last year. He can do a variety of different things from play anywhere in the infield to playing outfield, if need be.

“He adds a little pop for us offensively. He’s been swinging the bat well. I was glad to have him back.”

In 2020, Valaika hit .277 with eight home runs and 16 RBIs in 52 games, and signed a contract in December that pays him $875,000 when he’s in the majors and $300,000 in the minors.

Kremer coming back: The Orioles will recall right-hander Dean Kremer, who was optioned to the alternate site on April 17th, to start on Wednesday night against New York’s Domingo Germán. A roster move will be necessary to accommodate Kremer, the Orioles’ No. 5 starter who was sent down because the schedule allowed the Orioles to get by with a four-man rotation for a brief stretch.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Birdman

    April 27, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Kudos to Plutko, and to Elias … I recall several comments ridiculing the Plutko acquisition when Elias made it.

    • CalsPals

      April 27, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      I thought overall the response was kinda whatever to positive, don’t really remember people ridiculing Mikey on it, although I could totally see it…go O’s…

    • orf_nac_slaPslaC

      April 27, 2021 at 8:11 pm

      Think you are correct, there was quite of bit of derision of Elias for picking up Plutko

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    April 27, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    So let me get this straight. Valaika, one of last years heroes with a bat in his hands … and by all accounts … a jack of all trades is called up to man shortstop due to the Freddy Galvis’ injury.

    So why is Urias still on the active roster? Why was he ever? I don’t get it.

    • CalsPals

      April 27, 2021 at 7:30 pm

      Mikey signed him, releasing him would put him on a bad light….go O’s…

    • orf_nac_slaPslaC

      April 27, 2021 at 8:09 pm

      Urias had an OPS of 0.967 in 2020

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        April 27, 2021 at 10:21 pm

        With a whole 25 at bats in 2020. Watch him play. Put the stat book down … and watch him play. Then tell me how good he is.

        Go O’s .. vacation Ga.

    • CalsPals

      April 27, 2021 at 8:14 pm

      Boog, it’s all your fault….lol…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      April 27, 2021 at 8:15 pm

      What year is this?…go O’s…

      • orf_nac_slaPslaC

        April 27, 2021 at 8:22 pm

        Keep the mutual self admiration group going!

        The Orioles should send down everyone struggling through 22 games-Mancini, Mountcastle, etc. all sent down. It’s 2021! Only stats from 2021 matter!!! Or maybe just the last 7 days! Or maybe just what they did yesterday! Two hits yesterday against a righty? Start him against a lefty today or the mental anguished caused will harm the player for all time…….oooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    • CalsPals

      April 27, 2021 at 8:26 pm

      Kinda scary you pay so much attention to what only certain people say, you have issues, it was a lot more fun when you didn’t post…PJ’s…go O’s…

      • orf_nac_slaPslaC

        April 27, 2021 at 8:48 pm

        Hey are you going to insult Rich again and say his reporting was so poor you thought you were reading Fox News? Or maybe tell him not to tweet? That was cool…

        • Tileman

          April 28, 2021 at 6:31 am

          Orf I’m in your camp. Nice handle too the Fox News comment was snowflake territory.

    • Camden Brooks

      April 28, 2021 at 5:04 am

      Orf is 100% spot-on.

    • CalsPals

      April 28, 2021 at 8:10 am

      Thanks, didn’t realize you guys paid so much attention to me, BTW, Fox News could’ve been any of the news, it’s kinda like reading the National Enquirer, it was poor reporting, I did apologize to Rich, something Orf, slaPslaC, No integrity & whatever name he’ll go by soon never did…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      April 28, 2021 at 8:24 am

      Also, BTW, never told him not to tweet, reading is a lifelong skill, you should embrace it….lol…go O’s…

  3. Icterus fan

    April 27, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    I see the trench warfare is back. Lots of friendly fire.

    • CalsPals

      April 28, 2021 at 8:27 am

      Orf & the Inciters, sounds like an old rock band…go O’s…

  4. Papagreen

    May 5, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Great to see this but the cynic in me can’t help but think there is some idiot in the upper part of the organization thinking that Mean’s value is going up so won’t he make a great trade chip at in July! I sure hope I’m wrong.

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