Assuming that John Means and Jordan Lyles, when his signing becomes official after the Major League Baseball lockout, will be the Orioles’ first two starters in the 2022 rotation, three spots remain open.
Let’s look at the internal candidates, although the Orioles might add from the outside when the lockout ends. We’ll focus first on pitchers who spent time with the Orioles in 2021.
Background: Akin, who’ll turn 27 the day after the scheduled March 31st opener, was the Orioles’ second-round pick in 2016. The left-hander made his Orioles debut in 2020 and was 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA in eight games, six of them starts.
Akin’s 2021: He was 2-10 with a 6.63 ERA in 24 games, 17 starts. After a rough spring training, the left-hander began the season at the alternate site at Bowie. He had an accident with a kitchen knife, delaying his promotion until mid-May.
Akin had a difficult monthlong stretch when in six starts from June 16th-July 16th, he allowed 33 runs in 24 1/3 innings for a 12.20 ERA. He was scratched from his next start and placed on the Covid-19 injured list.
Akin had some better starts in August and September. On August 26th, he allowed one run on three hits in seven innings in a 13-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels. In his final start, he gave up a run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings on September…