Ranking Orioles Starting Pitching in Various Categories


Ranking Orioles Starting Pitching in Various Categories

Everyone knew it was going to be a difficult but interesting challenge to see who the Orioles were going to keep as a fifth starter in the rotation (assuming Hammel, Chen, Gonzalez, and Tillman are the top four). And it has been everything we all imagined; and beyond that, there is more to come! Figuring out who will be selected in the end is about like predicting the winner of the scrambling crabs game on the big screen between innings at Orioles games.

The Orioles essentially have 14 possibilities for starters (as I’m including Rule 5 pick McFarland in that number, along with Wada who will not be ready by April, and Hunter who is pretty much destined for the bullpen around this crowd). But here is the list in alphabetical order. I am going to do some rankings of these guys in various categories below this list.

Mar 2, 2013; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Brian Matusz (17) throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the bottom of the third inning of a spring training game at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Who have the most natural talent? – 1) Bundy, 2) Gausman, 3) Arrieta, 4) Matusz, 5) Britton

Who have done the most with their talent to this point in their careers? – 1) Gonzalez, 2) Johnson, 3) Tillman, 4) Hammel, 5) Chen

Who have most disappointed to this point in their careers? – 1) Matusz, 2) Arrieta, 3) Britton, 4) Hunter, 5) Wada – simply by being injured

Who are most valuable to the franchise over the long haul? – 1) Bundy, 2) Gausman, 3) Tillman, 4) Matusz, 5) Bundy

Who are the most tradable/expendable at this point? – 1) Hunter – too many homers, but few can throw around 99-100 mph, 2) Arrieta – when will be put it together, a good spring makes him valuable to bring something back? 3) Britton, 4) Matusz, 5) Johnson

Who are the most valuable to the Orioles in April of this year? It looks like Matusz has the inside track to the 5th spot, and I will admit I did not see that coming. Arrieta has thrown about as well, but is not as valuable as a right-hander. At this moment, McFarland looks good enough to keep and contribute.

  • Jake Arrieta – AAA
  • Zach Britton – AAA
  • Dylan Bundy – AA
  • Wei-Yin Chen – 2
  • Kevin Gausman – AA
  • Michael Gonzalez – 4
  • Jason Hammel – 1
  • Tommy Hunter – Bullpen
  • Steve Johnson – AAA
  • Jair Jurrjens – AAA
  • Brian Matusz – 5
  • T.J. McFarland – Bullpen
  • Chris Tillman – 3
  • Tsuyoshi Wada – DL

That Norfolk starting rotation could be pretty amazing – perhaps with Zach Clark as a fifth guy. I am afraid that, as much as I really like every one of these guys, one or two of the five starters will struggle to the point where we see the likes of Arrieta, Johnson, or Britton not terribly far into the season.  Perhaps a trade will thin the numbers also.

As Buck says, sorting out this situation is a good problem to have. So what do you think? Would you argue with any of these lists?