Orioles Rotation Ready for Big Time…Next YearPosted on June 18, 2014 by Ethan Felderstein
Among a slew of consecutive quality starts, optimism has risen for the Baltimore Orioles' rotation. Though the team hasn't strung together as many wins as they have quality starts, the pitching staff has been nothing short of impressive.
"Critics of the Baltimore starters say there isn’t an ace in the group. I agree", wrote FOX Sports columnist Jon Paul Morosi in a recent column. "And Dan Duquette, the Baltimore general manager, is already considering whether to add a starter via trade. But all the pitchers in the Orioles’ season-opening rotation — [Miguel] Gonzalez (30), Ubaldo Jimenez (30), Bud Norris (29), Wei-Yin Chen (28) and Chris Tillman (26) — are in their prime years. They’re old enough to know what to expect from the six- and possibly seven-month grind and young enough for their bodies to withstand the rigor."
It's true that the "ace-less" Orioles pitching staff has thrived as of late. Kevin Gausman, who struggled in previous call-ups to the MLB, is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA since his last call-up on June 7. In the same span, Wei-Yin Chen is 1-2, but his 2.25 ERA is considerably lower than what it was previously, 4.26. Chen has pitched at least 6.1 innings in each of his three June stars.
Yet, the most impressive June belongs to Bud Norris. After going 3-5 to begin the 2014 season, Norris has earned a win in each of his last three games. In those three wins, he's recorded a 2.75 ERA and held opposing batters to a .222 batting average.
All in all, each starter in the rotation, with the exception of the struggling Ubaldo Jimenez and the injured Miguel Gonzalez, has earned a win in the month of June.
The recent success of the pitching staff could—and should—give fans hope for the Orioles' rotation. But, optimism shouldn't just be limited to the 2014 season, because the outlook for the 2015 rotation looks so much brighter.
Imagine a rotation consisting of the recent success of Orioles' pitchers, thrown in with a promising prospect. If you can't, here's a visualization:
1. Chris Tillman
2. Kevin Gausman
3. Ubaldo Jimenez
4. Bud Norris
5. Dylan Bundy
This hypothetical rotation is merely just a "rough draft", but it's not too far off. Next year's rotation will be consisted of veterans, possibly coming off a very solid year and promising prospects. Oh, and the average age of this hypothetical rotation: 26.8.
That's something to get excited about it.
A lot of this hope and optimism for the 2015 season lies on the recovery of Dylan Bundy. The 22-year-old prospect has already worked his way back from Tommy John surgery and is on rehab assignment with Aberdeen IronBirds. He hasn't ruled out that a return to Baltimore is possible for the 2014 season, meaning that starting in Baltimore in 2015 is a very real possibility.