Tuesday, March 23, 2010

20 game breakdown: pitchers (very long)

The Orioles have now completed their first 20 exhibition games, with a record at 8-12. Overall, their pitchers have performed reasonably well compiling a 4.20 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP with 132 strikeouts and only 17 home runs allowed in 152 innings. Those numbers exclude the pitchers who have already been cut, Troy Patton, Brandon Erbe, Luis Lebron, Chorye Spoone, Mike Hinckley, Chris George, and Armando Gabino; and the pitchers who don’t have any real hopes of making the team: Alfredo Simon, Ross Wolf, Frank Mata, and Josh Perrault. Let’s take a look at the remaining contestants, pitcher by pitcher.

SP Kevin Millwood (0-2, 12.97 ERA, 3.12 WHIP) – in 3 starts covering 8 1/3 innings, he has given up 21 hits, 12 earned runs, and 3 home runs. Those numbers are not ace material, but manager Dave Trembley is not worried and Milwood gave up only 1 run in 5 innings in his most recent start. Chance of making team: Certain

SP Jeremy Guthrie (0-3, 7.47, 2.17) – in 5 starts, he’s allowed 25 hits, 13 earned runs, 9 walks, and 3 home runs in 15 2/3 innings. This is obviously not what the O’s are looking for, but he rebounded in his last start (2 runs in 5 innings) and is in no danger of losing his spot in the rotation unless the Orioles decided to trade him, which seems a little too early. Certain

SP Brian Matusz (1-1, 2.51, 0.63, pictured at right) – in 4 starts, he has dominated with 18 strikeouts to 2 walks in 14 1/3 innings, allowing only 7 hits. I’m starting to think AL Rookie of the Year… Certain

SP Brad Bergesen (2-0, 6.24, 1.62) – in 3 starts, he has struggled some in his 8 2/3 innings of work. However, he is coming off injury and has not been extremely ineffective, so I expect him to rebound well and return close to last year’s form. Certain

SP Chris Tillman (0-2, 3.75, 1.25) – in 4 games, 3 of them starts, he has performed average. He definitely has not dominated, with only 6 strikeouts in 12 innings, and has walked 5. Still, there’s no reason he shouldn’t hold the number 5 spot over David Hernandez, Jason Berken, and Jake Arrieta. Almost certain

SP/RP Hernandez (0-1, 4.50, 1.40, pictured at right) – in 4 games, 1 a start, he has struck out 14 and walked only 1 in 10 innings. The 3 home runs have hurt him, but he has proven he can be a highly effective reliever, and he even did well in his lone start. I think he may force his way onto the team even though it was thought he would be given innings in Triple A. Maybe

SP/RP Berken (0-1, 4.16, 1.39) – in 5 games, 1 a start, has ran into trouble recently and allowed Hernandez to overshadow him. On the bright side, he hasn’t surrendered a home run in his 8 2/3 innings. Unlikely

SP Arrieta (0-0, 5.40, 2.20) – in 4 relief appearances, he has struck out 9 in 5 innings but has allowed a lot of baserunners and has not been given a start, indicating that the team seems to think he needs more time in the minors. He may be cut soon. Very unlikely

RP Mike Gonzalez (1-0, 3.00, 2.33, 0 SV) – in 3 games since recovering from a lower back injury, he has struck out 3, walked 2, and allowed 5 hits in 3 innings. Hopefully the closer will be at full strength by the time the season starts. Certain

RP James Johnson (0-0, 4.77, 2.12, 0) – in 6 games, he has shown why he was considered a potential closer (7 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings), and why he is no longer (10 hits). Certain

RP Koji Uehara (0-0, 1.69, 0.75, 1) – in 6 games, he has made an effective transition to reliever. Certain

RP Mark Hendrickson (0-0, 2.57, 1.19, 0) – 5 games, has proved his reliability once again. Certain

RP Cla Meredith (0-0, 1.29, 0.57, 0, pictured at right) – in 8 games, he has locked up a spot in the pen with only 4 hits and no walks in 7 innings. Certain

RP Matt Albers (0-0, 2.80, 1.04, 1) – in 8 games he has impressed me with 9 2/3 innings of solid pitching, issuing just 1 walk, 1 home run, and 3 runs in total. He is out of options and has likely earned a spot in the bullpen. Likely

RP Will Ohman (2-0, 0.00, 0.50, 0) – in 7 games, he has made a convincing case that he deserves a spot as lefty specialist, with 9 strikeouts and 1 hit allowed in 6 innings. Likely

RP Kam Mickolio (1-0, 2.40, 1.56, 0) – in 7 games, he has made things scary (7 walks in 8 1/3 innings), but shown why I think he deserves to be on the team (8 strikeouts and 2 runs). The Orioles may choose to send him down one last time. Maybe

RP Alberto Castillo (1-0, 2.46, 1.36, 0) – in 7 games, he has been less dominant than Mickolio, but more consistent with 0 walks, and he is left-handed. I’m just saying. Maybe

RP Dennis Sarfate (0-0, 5.14, 1.29, 0) – in 5 games, he has shown signs of his old self with 6 strikeouts in 7 innings, but he is not on the 40 man roster and has not proved he is more deserving than other candidates. Unlikely

RP Wilfrido Perez (0-0, 0.00, 0.60, 0) – 4 games, he has tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings. I’d like to see him given a chance to pitch, but based on his limited innings, it seems the O’s are leaning in a different direction. Very unlikely

The last two bullpen spots really come down to the lefties, Castillo and Ohman, and the righties, Hernandez, Albers, and Mickolio.


Mark said...

Good info Tim. At this point, I am thinking that it would be wise to keep Hernandez on the big club as a reliever. If Guthrie continues to struggle, then swap rolls for them. Hernandez has electric stuff and I believe he will eventually make it in the rotation.

Matt said...

Looks like this wasn't far from the truth - you'd obviously make a good Os GM.