There has been plenty of talk on the Orioles rotation not getting deep into games and not achieving quality starts.  As such, the Orioles bullpen has been roughed up significantly in the past few days on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday’s night game with Chris Tillman getting only through 5.2 innings certainly didn’t help the situation either.  During these nights, the Orioles have shown signs of struggle in the bullpen and giving up late inning leads or putting the game out of reach.  Is the Orioles bullpen already beginning to run on empty?

Going into Wednesday night, the Orioles relievers had pitched 60.2 IP for 19 games.  On average this means, the bullpen accounts for 3.17 IP per game this season.  However, the analysis of the Orioles starters puts them at 5.68 IP per game this season which ranks them at 20th in baseball.  In addition, it only puts them slightly below both the Rays (5.73 IP/G) and Red Sox (5.74 IP/G).

However, it’s still early.  Let’s see what teams did last year that were playoff contenders:

  • Red Sox:  6.07 IP/G
  • Cardinals:  6.08 IP/G
  • Tigers:  6.32 IP/G
  • Dodgers: 6.04 IP/G
  • Rays:  5.96 IP/G
  • Athletics:  6.03 IP/G

So yes the Orioles have been taxing the bullpen over the past few days.  However, this is partially to due with the MLB scheduling on Sunday Night into Monday Morning.  Based on the schedule, the Orioles knew that they might need the options in the Home Run “Centre“.  I see nothing wrong with calling up TJ McFarland.  The Orioles did lose Steve Pearce in the process, but the Orioles will be able to regroup their bullpen by the time they get home this weekend especially with an off-day next Monday.

And based off the above numbers, our starters only need to get one more out per game to be a playoff contender.  How hard could that be?