The Orioles announced today that they’ve promoted left-hander Keegan Akin to the Major League roster. To make room, outfielder Cedric Mullins has been optioned to the team’s alternate training site. Akin, 25, is set to make his MLB debut.
It’s possible that Akin will in fact start tomorrow’s game against the Nats, though on the other hand manager Brandon Hyde could still opt for a bullpen game instead. Either way, Akin, regarded by MLB Pipeline as the Orioles’ 13th-best prospect, is in line to make his Major League debut.
The product of Western Michigan University was Baltimore’s second-round draft choice in 2016, and he’s made a quick ascent through the minors since then, spending all of last season at Triple-A. In four minor-league seasons, he’s averaging 9.9 K/9, though he’s been somewhat prone to walking batters. His minor-league ERA is a solid 3.78, with last year’s 4.73 mark at Triple-A the highest of his career.
Per MLB Pipeline, some of those Triple-A struggles can be attributed to an increasing reliance on his breaking and offspeed pitches, which Akin threw more often than ever last season. His mid-90s fastball is probably still his best and most consistent pitch, though the changeup is a valuable offering against right-handed batters. Akin also throws a slider.
Mullins, meanwhile, had gotten off to a dreadful start to the year, with just a single hit through his first 13 at-bats—good for a .277 OPS. After a respectable debut in 2018, other O’s outfielders like Dwight Smith Jr., Austin Hays, and Anthony Santander have pushed Mullins to the periphery of the outfield mix in Baltimore.