Baltimore Orioles starting rotation continues to struggle

Wei-Yin Chen exited Monday’s game in Boston after five innings of three hit ball. Chen is coming off his strongest outing of 2014: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K versus the Tampa Bay Rays. He carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning. It was kind of exciting.

Chen’s previous outing was the last quality start an Orioles starting pitcher. Miguel Gonzalez failed to reach the sixth inning in the finale against the Rays and no O’s starters recorded a quality start in the four game set against the Red Sox in Fenway Park.

On the young season, the Orioles have had just five quality starts. They have won four of those games. A season ago, O’s starters recorded 78 quality starts and won 52 of those games.

It should come as no surprise that that the Orioles rotation ranks 27th in FIP (4.53)* behind the Mets and Astros. Yuck. Their 1.29 HR/9 ranks 25th in the big leagues.

Pitching woes were a concern for the Orioles last season. They ranked 29th in FIP in 2013 (4.64).

Obviously, a big part of their problem has been Ubaldo Jimenez. He’s recorded a 6.41 FIP, 11.4 H/9, 2.1 HR/9 and 5.5 BB/9 over his first four starts of the season. Jimenez is a notoriously slow starter however. He has posted a career 4.72 FIP in March/April.

* – Stats prior to Mondays’s game.

Image Credit: Keith Allison