Orioles Lose Right-Handed Reliever to Astros via Waivers

Kaleb Ort

Getty Kaleb Ort posing for a Baltimore Orioles team photo on February 21.

After spending all of 2024 with the Baltimore Orioles‘ Triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides, Kaleb Ort is joining the Houston Astros organization.

The move was announced by the team on X (formerly Twitter) on May 28.

Ort’s pitched 14 relief appearances with the Tides in 2024. He threw 16 strikeouts in 12.2 innings, good for a 12.58 ERA.

He landed in Baltimore by way of a February trade with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Now on the move to the Astros Triple-A affiliate Sugar Land Space Cowboys, the Orioles 40-man roster is down to 39 players.

During a time when the Baltimore pitching staff is up and down in its performance, it’s a not move that garners any concern or surprise.

Baltimore Bullpen in a Shake-Up

Pitcher performance has been a roller coaster for the Orioles in 2024. In part due to injuries, in part due to the staff.

In it’s most recent shakeup, starter Dean Kremer was put on the 15-Day Injured List with triceps soreness.

The transaction came one day after John Means was put on the list with a left forearm strain.

The two losses pushed two bullpen arms. Albert Suarez and Cole Irvin back into the starting rotation. So far so good, with both getting a win in their appearances on the mound.

The starting rotation has found it’s groove, with the return of Kyle Bradish playing a big part.

But the bullpen staff remains a major question mark for Baltimore. Ort faced an uphill battle to get his own spot in the rotation, but skipper Brandon Hyde is on a quest for answers.

Mike Elias made a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers on May 26, acquiring veteran reliever Thyago Vieria.

But in his first outing, the 31-year-old struggled majorly, giving up 3 runs to an otherwise scoreless Boston Red Sox team.

Danny Couloumbe is another name fans have grown frustrated with.

The veteran reliever snapped Bradish’s no-hit bid against the Chicago White Sox in an eighth inning appearance on May 26. Coloumbe gave up a home run to designated hitter Dany Mendick in the bottom of the eighth.

Add in the injuries to Grayson Rodriguez (who’s since returned), Tyler Wells, and the loss of Mike Baumann to the tally.

With all of the context, it’s even more impressive to see where the Orioles sit among all MLB pitching staffs. Baltimore has the fourth-ranked ERA, second-least errors, and fourth-lowest WHIP, according to ESPN.

Bradish Puts Up No-Hit Bid vs. Chicago

After an injury scare derailed the top of his season, Bradish is back like he never left for the Orioles, striking out 11 batters in an outing against the White Sox.

In his fifth game of 2024, he went seven, no-hit innings. It’s his longest outing since a September win over the Washington Nationals.

After the 4-1 win over Chicago, Bradish downplayed his career-performance when talking with MASN Sports.

“I wouldn’t say I had my best stuff,” Bradish said on May 26. “I mean, I walked four guys and pregame bullpen wasn’t great, but that happens sometimes,” he said. I was able to execute pitches when I needed to. Had some double plays there. Mac (James McCann) had good fingers back there.”

Baltimore sweeps the White Sox on the heels of a season-best outing from the starting rotation. Bradish has thrown 25.2 innings and 34 strikeouts in 2024, good for a 1.75 ERA.

The no-hit showing highlights how high the Baltimore pitching staff can reach, with a struggling bullpen and injuries keeping them in contact with the very real lows.

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