Six years ago, the Baltimore Orioles rotation looked like this:
Terrifying isn’t it? — And it doesn’t seem like that long ago.
Here in 2015, one of the Orioles biggest problems in Spring Training isn’t “who’s going to eat innings behind Jeremy Guthrie”, it’s “too much pitching”. I mean, what do the Orioles supposed to do with all these arms?
[quote_box_center]The Orioles’ bigger issue may be in the rotation, as they have six viable starters, counting veteran Ubaldo Jimenez, who looked better in five shutout innings the other day (though his velocity isn’t quite where it should be). The Orioles brought in Ramon Martinez to work with Jimenez, and there are at least positive signs.
The Orioles would prefer to put top young right-hander Kevin Gausman in the rotation, club officials say. So one possibility would be optioning a starter, with Miguel Gonzalez seeming more likely to go down than rather the wunderkind Gausman or the lone lefty starter Wei-Yin Chen, the other starters with options. Gausman will be on the team, one way or another.[/quote_box_center]
Call me paranoid (I am), but I just don’t see the Orioles having a plethora of starting pitching. Every team is always one elbow injury away from scrambling for another starter — the O’s are no exception.
And besides that, what can the O’s realistically expect from Ubaldo Jimenez this season? Will Bud Norris‘ rough spring spill over into the regular season? What if Kevin Gausman’s third pitch isn’t ready? What if the staff as a whole regresses in 2015?
In an article that predicts a whole bunch of bad stuff for the Orioles this season, Sporting News’ Jesse Spector makes the case that the O’s rotation may have been too good to be true last season:
[quote_box_center]All four Orioles starters who made at least 25 starts last season had a lower ERA than FIP, with significant differences between the figures — 166 points for Miguel Gonzalez, 65 for Chris Tillman, 57 for Bud Norris and 35 for Wei-Yin Chen.[/quote_box_center]
While I think that’s an over simplification of FIP/ERA (the Orioles have one of the best defenses in the game which could be used to explain the difference between the figures), it could be cause of concern.
I understand trading Matusz, his value is high the spring, he won’t be re-signed during the offseason and the Orioles can afford to replace his production in the bullpen with Wesley Wright and T.J. McFarland. But I wouldn’t go as far as saying the O’s have “too much pitching.”