About an hour before the start of Wednesday’s game in Minnesota against the Twins, the Orioles optioned right-hander Dean Kremer, who turned in another short start on Tuesday night, to Triple-A Norfolk.
It’s the second time this season that Kremer, who is 0-5 with a 6.87 ERA in nine starts, has been sent down.
Kremer’s turn in the rotation would have been Sunday against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. His place will be taken by Keegan Akin, who worked three innings in relief in Tuesday’s 7-4 loss, the Orioles’ eighth straight defeat.
“We felt it was more for Dean’s development to go down and continue to work on the quality of his pitches,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Dean’s a major league starter. He has four major league pitches. Now, it’s about being comfortable and executing them. He’s pitched in so much traffic his last couple of starts, especially. It’s a high pitch count early on in the game. He’s pitching with runners on base constantly.
“You’re seeing a lot of overexertion, overcooking a lot of pitches. We want him to go down there and really work on those four pitches, the command of the four.”
The Orioles also placed outfielder Austin Hays on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Monday because of a strained left hamstring and recalled outfielder Ryan McKenna from Triple-A Norfolk.
Kremer’s place on the roster will be taken by relief pitcher Dillon Tate, who will meet the team in Chicago on Thursday. Tate, who’s on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left hamstring, threw a perfect inning for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday night on just nine pitches.
Ryan Mountcastle, who suffered a bruised left hand when he was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game, is unavailable for Wednesday’s game.
“We’re just playing short today,” Hyde said.
Holt remains on leave: Orioles pitching coach Chris Holt remains on personal leave. Holt has been away from the club for several weeks. Assistant pitching coach Darren Holmes, who is normally in the bullpen, has been filling in for Holt. Catching instructor Tim Cossins is in the bullpen. There’s no timetable for Holt’s return.
“I’m hoping soon,” executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said on a video conference call on Wednesday. “This isn’t a planned thing, and life happens in everything. We accommodate people when that happens, and he’s obviously very committed to this team, so it’s very important, to say the least, that he be where is.
“Hopefully, he’ll be back soon. He’s been working very hard remotely and staying plugged in. We have a great pitching coach in Darren Holmes, who’s been keeping things going. We have two pitching coaches on the staff for a reason. It’ll be nice to get Chris back soon.”