Here are the highlights:
And here's an appropriate GIF reaction:
Let's be honest: Umpire C.B. Bucknor's strike three calls stole the show in those highlights, but the pitches looked nice, too. And when you consider Kremer allowed just one hit in his six innings of work, striking out seven, well, the debut, statistically speaking, looks a lot like Ian Anderson's. It was especially noteworthy for the pitcher who led all the minor leagues in strikeouts in 2018, compiling a 2.88 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 12.2 K/9 between two levels.
Of course, Kremer did get only eight swinging strikes on those 88 pitches. Perhaps it's because hitters took so many called third strikes, allowing Bucknor to strut his own stuff, but nonetheless, it's not a great number. And here's an even worse one: Kremer threw only 53.4 percent of those 88 pitches for strikes, indicating control issues beyond just the three walks. It's also worth noting he's not some top-flight prospect, barely cracking the Orioles' top 10 on most preseason lists. He wasn't as successful in the minors last year either, delivering a 3.72 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 9.7 K/9.
But hey, he does have a high-spin fastball, a GIF-worthy curveball and an interesting enough minor-league track record to deserve a pickup after such a strong debut, and seeing as he's rostered in only 3 percent of leagues, it's a flier you can take everywhere. Just recognize that he has a little more to prove than, say, Anderson, Sixto Sanchez or Triston McKenzie.
Here are some other pickups from the weekend:
Seth Lugo RP
NYM N.Y. Mets • #67 • Age: 31
Seth Lugo got stretched out to 81 pitches in this latest start, which means there are basically no restrictions on the former reliever anymore. The stuff has held up with his move to the starting rotation, and he's showing a diverse enough arsenal to start, his swinging strikes being well distributed among his four pitches.
Matthew Boyd SP
DET Detroit • #48 • Age: 30
Matthew Boyd did serve up two home runs in Friday's start, which is always going to be a concern for him, but he looks a lot more stable now than he did at the start of the year. Since fully incorporating his changeup into his arsenal three turns ago, he has a 2.60 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 10.4 K/9
MIA Miami • #22 • Age: 25
He was shaky in his return from the COVID-19 IL last time out, but with this strong follow-up against some stiff competition Saturday, Sandy Alcantara is back on the breakout path. It was reminiscent of his first start of the season, before the Marlins' outbreak, when he allowed one earned run on three hits with seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. He had 13 swinging strikes in both starts, showing the potential to be more than just a ground-ball pitcher.
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #46 • Age: 26
Tony Gonsolin's spot in the rotation is secure now, and it looks like he's able to take on a full starter's workload. Granted, he needed only 75 pitches to make it through six innings in this latest start, but it continues a remarkably efficient season that to this point has yielded a 0.76 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. Factor in last year's numbers, and Gonsolin has a 2.12 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 8.8 K/9 so far as a big-leaguer.
STL St. Louis • #65 • Age: 29
Giovanny Gallegos recorded his third save Sunday, and no other Cardinals reliever has recorded even one during that time. So it looks like he's the closer, just as he should be, but it's come with so little fanfare that I think people may be losing sight of what a stud he could be in that role. He had a 2.31 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 11.3 K/9 in 74 relief innings last year.
Jose Urquidy SP
HOU Houston • #65 • Age: 25
The trendy preseason sleeper didn't show well in his season debut, but the fact he was already able to throw 63 pitches after spending so much time on the IL suggests he might be playable in Fantasy within the next start or two. The stuff appeared to be intact, and he's normally more of a strike-thrower than he was in Saturday's outing.
Brandon Belt 1B
SF San Francisco • #9 • Age: 32
A pinch-hit home run Sunday meant Brandon Belt added two to his tally over the weekend, and the numbers at this point are looking flat-out silly. With no fans in attendance this year, the Giants have closed off a standing room area in right field that has changed the wind flow in the stadium, making it no longer so punishing for hitters. Maybe, then, the breakthrough has finally come for the 32-year-old who has always performed well on the road.
Victor Reyes CF
DET Detroit • #22 • Age: 26
With strong contact skills, a line-drive swing and an all-fields approach, Victor Reyes is well suited for batting average, but he continues to make a worthwhile contribution in the home run and stolen base categories, adding one of each over the weekend. At this point, he looks like a must in five-outfielder leagues.
WAS Washington • Age: 33
For a while there, Rowan Wick appeared to be the favorite amid ongoing attempts to rehabilitate Craig Kimbrel, but over the past couple weeks, Jeremy Jeffress has quietly emerged as the Cubs' closer, converting each of the team's past three saves. While he's short on strikeouts, he's an excellent ground-ball pitcher with closing experience from his days with the Brewers.
MIA Miami • #95 • Age: 23
Trevor Rogers might be an even more attractive bargain basement starting pitcher pickup than Kremer seeing as he has delivered three straight impressive outings to begin his major-league career, the most impressive of all coming over the weekend. He has had some control issues and served up three homers in that Sunday start but has generally kept the ball on the ground while racking up a surprising number of whiffs with his changeup.