This is one of those rare days in spring training when there is quite a bit of news to pass along. First, the Orioles made it official that Jeremy Guthrie will be the opening day starter. Ok, we aren’t starting with the most shocking news.
Next, the Orioles cut 6 more players. The only player of note was Josh Bell, who was told he would be playing third base every day down at Triple A. This is a big season for Bell, who needs to tear it up down at Triple A and show the Orioles they can rely on him to be an everyday player next season. The other players cut were Michael Hernandez, Alberto Castillo, Chris George, Mike Ballard, and Chris Jakubauskas. I’m not going to lie; I have no freakin idea who that last player is.
The Orioles also swapped Rule 5 draft picks with the Milwaukee Brewers. Pitcher Adam Rosario goes back to the Brewers, while the Orioles get back Pat Egan. Again, I realize this is not shocking news.
Finally, Orioles fans know that Guthrie, Matusz, and Arrieta are locks for the rotation. The Orioles don’t need a fifth starter until April 10th, so basically it is coming down to Britton, Tillman, and Bergesen for the final rotation spot. Despite Britton pitching the most effectively it is believed he will be sent down to start the season at Triple A leaving the competition to Tillman and Bergesen.
The decision has been made to start Justin Duchscherer on the disabled list. The Orioles are shooting for Duchscherer to make his first start April 21st. So, between Tillman and Bergesen who do you think should start the season in the rotation and who should start at Triple A?
If you want to look at the spring training numbers, both pitchers have been fairly unimpressive. Bergesen is sporting a 5.95 ERA while giving up 25 hits in 16 and 2/3 innings. Tillman has a 3.55 ERA, but has given up more than a hit an inning and also walked 5 in just 12 and 2/3 spring innings. If the season were to start today I would go with Bergesen in the rotation simply because I don’t think there is anything else he can learn or work on at Triple A that will really benefit him. He has enough starts under his belt at the major league level to know what he has to do. Meanwhile, Tillman could still benefit from tinkering with a few things down in the minors. What do you think? Who would you go with to make the rotation on opening day?