The Baltimore Orioles are still around because the bullpen has held it down.
With a record of 35-42 entering Friday, the Baltimore Orioles are still playing competitive baseball. Their starting pitching besides Tyler Wells and Dean Kramer has begun to fade, but their bullpen has been one for the best in the league. They rank third in ERA with a 3.16 and 13th in strikeouts with 279.
The Baltimore Orioles bullpen is led by the resurgent season of closer Jorge López
López was a failed stater with an ERA over five and he’s now one of the best closers in the game. The 29-year-old continues to turn heads with an ERA of 0.73 and 39 strikeouts in 37 innings. Clay Holmes of the New York Yankees is the only closer with a lower ERA. López has provided stability with 13 saves and the Orioles know they have a win when they have lead after eight innings. López has a bWAR of 2.0 and could be the lone selection to the All-Star Game for the O’s.
Felix Bautista has been their second-best reliever and has really impressed. He has an ERA of 1.50 and has 37 strikeouts in 30 innings. The rookie is showing out with a WAR of 1.3. He has been critical for this bullpen. Without him, they wouldn’t be nearly as good. To dominate the way he has as a rookie in the toughest division in baseball is beyond impressive.
The Zack Britton trade is now looking like a major win for the Orioles with the emergence of Dillion Tate. He has an ERA under two and 29 strikeouts in 37 innings. Tate has helped get the ball to López and has a bWAR of 1.1. Tate is 28 years old but doesn’t have a lot of innings on his arm. He’s thrown just 142 for his career. He still has so much room to grow, which is scary for the rest of the league.
Those three are far from the only contributors. Cionel Perez has an ERA of 1.14 in 23 innings. This is five runs lower than his ERA with the Cincinnati Reds last season. What a turnaround for him! This O’s pen is full of good stories that has helped mask mediocre starting pitching. Joey Krehbiel and Keegan Aiken have also made strong contributions with ERAs of 2.35 and 2.70, respectively.
It will be interesting to see if they can sustain this most of these pitchers are throwing over their heads? What does everyone think about the O’s bullpen? Let us know in the comments section below.