And I don't get lazy and stop halfway though...Then I'm about to have some words of one kind or another for you. I'm gonna cite your key stats, tell you what I think you're doing right and wrong, and then say what your value to the organization is going forward. Be warned: I'm only pleased with a few of you. So, without further adeiu, and in order of innings pitched:
Jeremy Guthrie, you've pitched to a 5.20 ERA and a 1.4 WHIP, and that's not something I expected out of the guy who was second to Johan Santana in QS over the two prior seasons coming in. Your 19 HR allowed scare me. However, you still find the strike zone more often than not to the tune of a 2-1 K/BB ratio. You're trying too hard, something that's been thoroughly analyzed by fans at this site. You try to make every pitch the perfect pitch; consequently when you miss it's a meatball and it lands over the fence. Other than all the HR, you look like the ace I remember, so I think we need to keep you in the organization for at least a few more years. Your arm comes cheap compared to similar hurlers, and frankly you're our only veteran.
Brad Bergesen, you're one of four Orioles starters to win his MLB debut this season, and the only pitcher besides Guthrie to throw more than 90 innings so far. Your 3.53 ERA and 1.16 WHIP means you've been the team's best starter, and you do it without walking people too much. This organization needs pitchers who can find the strike zone and keep a good head on their shoulders. You're going deep in games and truly dealing. Your future is here and it's in the rotation.
Koji Uehara, your 4.05 ERA and 1.25 WHIP look OK on the surface, but the telling stat is when your numbers are split by time through the order. You're excellent the first time through, below average the second time through, and god-awful the third time through. They're figuring out your stuff and you're not adjusting. However, you are stirking out four times the batters you're walking, and those are great numbers to have for a team that has struggled mightily with walks for the better part of a decade. You belong as an Oriole, but your inability to adjust to hitters and to hold up with a high inning count means you need to be middle relief (when you get healthy). In that role you could be very effective for a contending team, and so I think the brass needs to recognize this and keep you around.
Mark Hendrickson, The 4.86 ERA you've posted looks pretty bad on the surface. However, as a reliever (3.20) it's better than 3 runs down from as a starter (6.32). Once you were moved to the bullpen, you became effective. Your stuff just isn't that great, but you have a career of moderate success and for a struggling organization that's valuable. I don't think you have long-term value to the Birds, but for this year and perhaps one or two more your veteran presence and ability to go out and throw multiple innings, including spot-starts if necessary, is nice to have around.
Brian Bass, we're just past the halfway point and you hae a 4.71 ERA and 1.59 WHIP...the fact that you still rank in top 5 on the team in innings (and the secondary fact that it's below 50) tells us something about the state of our pitching. You did have a couple of effective months, but like most mediocre relievers you are streaky. Your stuff isn't great, and frankly you're just taking up a roster spot since we have several guys who could pitch to those numbers in long relief. Unlike some of the other pitchers, you don't make up for your mediocre numbers by throwing strikes.
Rich J. Hill, you have a 7.43 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. You've walked 31 batters (most on the team) and only struck out 39. The raw ability we've heard about just doesn't seem to be there. You don't command any pitch but your fastball, and it doesn't have great life. You have a curve, but more than half the time you can't get it working. You're wild, and are really the only truly wild starter left on the roster. All of that combines to suggest that the Orioles should be done with you. Perhaps you can get your stuff figured out in another organization.
Danys Baez, despite your 4.5 ERA you have at times been the O's most effective reliever. After your surgery your fastball has newfound life, but like all pitchers who rely on one pitch you are sometimes vulnerable to good hitters sitting on that pitch. One of the great moments of the season was when you blew one fastball right by a sick Ryan Howard only to have him jack the next one. I don't blame you; it sure didn't look like he could catch up to your stuff. I'm unsure if you have more value to the Orioles via trade or kept on for several years as a mid-to-late reliever.
Adam Eaton, I have little to say. Your time has come and gone to the tune of an 8+ ERA and 1.83 WHIP. While you were acquiring these numbers you had all of one successful outing which came when you were saving your job...which only served to convince the organization to keep you one or two starts longer than it should have.
Jason Berken, you had a great first start, winning your debut like so many have for us this season. However, since your ERA has bloated up to 6.25. What I see from you is flat stuff that is good enough to foll hitters no more than once a game. I like the head you've got on your shoulders, because you've shown composure, but I don't think it's a good enough head for you to be crafty enough to get MLB hitters out consistently with what appears to be average stuff. I think the organization should be patient with you in case I'm wrong, but I doubt there'll be much value in keeping you with the parent club in 2010.
Jim R. Johnson, I don't think the 3.00 ERA and 1.26 WHIP are indicative of how truly effective you have been for the most part...your numbers, like many short relievers, are highly inflated by your limited innings. Hitters are frequently simplay outmatched by your stuff, and frankly I think it's between you and Chris Ray for the best ability among Orioles relievers (and you've been harnessing it to greater effect). I, for one, would be most upset if the FO elected to part ways with you.
Matt Albers, while your ERA is close to 4 we're finally starting to see signs that you're the pitcher you were before your injury. Batters hit about .400 against you in April, while in June that number was down to .250. I still get the sense from watching you that you haven't pitched enough innings to be quite right again, but I think the O's should hang on to you because it wouldn't surprise me to see the hurler they had in early 2008 re-emerge for good.
I have again run out of time, at about the halfway point of this analysis. I will again return and complete my evaluation shortly.
EDIT: Way too late to update this and have the rest of the numbers make any sense. Oh well, there's half of the pitching staff.
If you've thrown a pitch for the '09 Orioles
Posted on: July 6, 2009 7:34 am
Edited on: July 29, 2009 3:59 pm