With a tip of the cap to the Baltimore Sun’s own writer and overall great dude, Peter Schmuck, I ask you this question:
“Will the Orioles need a five-man rotation based on off-days until June”?
According to Schmuck’s math (I think he did attend USC), the Orioles many only need to use a fifth starter a total of 5 times between Opening Day and June 5.
My Towson brain did it this way, the O’s have three days off (all Thursday’s) in April. And in May, they have 4 off-days. And this doesn’t include any rain/snow-outs or any other potential cancellations.
Of course, the motto in camp this year is “Competition”. And based on the projected rotation (Tillman, Chen, Norris, Gausman, Gonzo/Ubie) it looks like that buzz word will play itself out during the spring.
But as lucky as the Orioles were last year with no significant injuries (expect maybe Jimenez “stepping” in that hole) in their starting rotation, I just don’t see that happening again this year.
Not putting the jinx on any one pitcher — God knows I would love to have everyone healthy again this year-but the baseball Gods aren’t usually that generous two years in a row.
Maybe a plethora of off-days early in the season will benefit the Orioles rotation late in the season? Maybe the Orioles will have one of the “Big Three” go down early in the season and one of the back-end (rotation) guys steps up and contributes? Maybe.
But no matter how it shakes out during spring this year, the Commander and Chief of the USS Orioles — Buck Showalter — will head north with his best starting 5.
Even if he only uses 4 1/2 of them until Father’s Day.