Ugh. We need pitching to start the season.
Perhaps our best arms, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, and Brian Matusz were cut from the team this weekend and off to Sarasota (the minor league camp), as expected by most. They are the future of the Orioles; therefore, there is absolutely no need at all to rush them — although they may have been the best arms down in camp. Let them dominate in the lower levels and then bring them up to Baltimore. We aren’t going to contend, so let the kids get their feet, have fun, learn about the organization and just pitch down there for a half-season, season, or more.
Now, what’s left.
You all remember these names? John Parrish and Brad Hennessey? Hurt.
Chris Waters, Radhames Liz and Matt Albers. They’ve more or less been demoted to the bullpen to start 2009 — for the time being, obviously (as we know things can change so suddenly.)
Rich Hill? The man is on the mend, but considering he’s done little in the month he’s been in Florida, will he start the season in the rotation? As long as he’s not absymal until Opening Day — sure, why not.
Right now, our only two starters for sure are Jeremy Guthrie — currently in the WBC and didn’t look that great in his outing against Venezuela — and Koji Uehara, currently nursing a sore hamstring.
Who’s left? Danys Baez — who left little to be desired as a reliever in ’07; however, he’s been surprisingly effective as a starter down in Florida; Hayden Penn, who has allowed way too many base runners; Mark Hendrickson, who doesn’t inspire much confidence in me as a starter; Adam Eaton, a veteran and can be healthy, but has been mediocre for the past few years; Brad Bergesen, he throws strikes — good; however, he doesn’t throw hard — could be bad, but if he locates, he can be effective; David Pauley, I thought he was an odds-on favorite to be starter, but he’s been atrocious; Brian Bass, he’s been ok — nothing impressive, but he does his job.
Why I do not have a lot of confidence in the starting rotation to start the season? Ok, so I don’t think we have any Bruce Chen’s, Victor Zambrano or Russ Ortiz’s; however, it could be a long, long season in Baltimore.
Aside from Guthrie and Uehara, I see Hill, Eaton and Bergesen as filling the spots.