Orioles young players could be in the mix for pitching in 2024

The Baltimore Orioles are in the market for starting pitching, with GM-Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Elias confirming that the team will look to add a veteran or two before the start of the 2024 season. Here’s a look at how that might impact their top pitching prospects, Chayce McDermott and Cade Povich.

The Orioles’ rotation already features four pitchers who made at least 20 starts in 2023: Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer, Grayson Rodriguez and Tyler Wells, along with lefties John Means, Cole Irvin and DL Hall. It seems likely a new starter would slot into the rotation alongside Bradish, Means and Rodriguez, with Kremer, Wells and Hall left to battle it out for the fifth spot in Spring Training. The other two could then join Irvin in the bullpen and serve as starting depth.

As for McDermott and Povich, they each reached Triple-A Norfolk in 2023, but according to Elias, their work there is not done. With plenty of solid big league starting options, Baltimore has the luxury of not rushing the top arms on its farm. McDermott and Povich have bright futures ahead of them, as they’ve shown in the minors, but both just completed their first full season in the O’s system after being acquired at the 2022 Trade Deadline.

McDermott, the Orioles’ No. 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline, came over from Houston in the Trey Mancini trade. The 25-year-old right-hander had a 3.56 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) for Double-A Bowie this year, then reached Triple-A for the first time and recorded a 2.49 ERA in 10 outings (eight starts). Povich, Baltimore’s No. 11 prospect, was one of the four pitchers acquired from Minnesota in the Jorge López trade.

Both prospects are eager to make their mark with the Orioles, with McDermott stating, “I think I’m right there on the brink.” But for now, they are expected to open the 2024 season in the Minors, as it’s up to the O’s to determine their development path.

However, Elias is optimistic about the prospects’ future, emphasizing that they are working with a first-rate pitching department and have all the resources for pitching development. As the Orioles prepare for the 2024 season, the potential addition of a veteran starter will have a ripple effect on the entire pitching staff, including McDermott and Povich. The team seems well-positioned to balance immediate needs with long-term development.

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