Baltimore Orioles: Early Assessment Of The Starting Rotation
Baltimore Orioles starting rotation- The Fighters.
This last group of pitchers has very long odds to secure a rotation spot, but they are still fighting to show they belong. I don’t anticipate any of these guys breaking camp with the team, but a few show promise and will contribute down the road.
Luis Ortiz– Ortiz showed up to camp more than 20 pounds lighter and began lighting up radar guns with an upper-90s fastball in his first outing, but overall he has struggled. In four innings, Ortiz has given up six earned runs on eight hits, allowing a team-high .421 batting average (among all Orioles pitchers with at least 3 IP). It hasn’t been pretty but Ortiz will greatly benefit from the signing of Nate Karns who can (ideally) eat innings and allow prospects like Ortiz to season in the minors without being rushed.
John Means– Means had very solid year in AAA last season (3.48 ERA, 19 BB in 111.1 IP) and will return again to start 2019. A decent option to make spot starts for the O’s, Means worked two scoreless innings last Friday night against a New York Yankees lineup full of regulars. He struck out two and refused to allow a hit. Means gets another start on Wednesday, this time against Tampa Bay.
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Gabriel Ynoa– Finally healthy after missing virtually all of 2018, Ynoa has made one start, giving up one run (HR) on three hits in two innings. There’s a zero percent chance he cracks the rotation, but as I have previously mentioned, there’s no need to completely write off Ynoa, yet. He gets a second opportunity on Sunday.
Jimmy Yacabonis- Saving the most intriguing option for last here. The Orioles are going to continue to stretch out Yacabonis while they decide on his future role, an experiment that needs to end already. He has allowed just one hit in four innings, striking out five and walking one (0.00 ERA/0.50 WHIP/.083 BAA). Yacabonis was electric as a reliever with the Norfolk Tides a few seasons ago and his fastball (upper-90s/t98)/slider combination can be lethal in short stints. The amount of walks he surrenders is always concerning, but let’s stop the constant changes with Yacabonis. He’s a reliever and a pretty good one at that.
The Baltimore Orioles return to MASN on Sunday at 3:05 against the Tigers. Andrew Cashner, Gabriel Ynoa, Dillon Tate, Branden Kline, Tanner Scott, Cody Carroll, and Pedro Araujo are scheduled to throw.