The Orioles have had two consistent starters this season: Jason HammelandWei-Yin Chen.
The other three spots have been anything but reliable. At times, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta and Tommy Hunter have been good. Other times, they’ve been way south of good.
The positive news is that injuries have not hit the Orioles’ rotation. The above-mentioned five have made 72 of the club’s 73 starts. The other one was started by long reliever Dana Eveland.
The bad news is that Jake Arrieta (3-9, 5.55 ERA in 16 starts), Tommy Hunter (3-4, 5.67 ERA in 14 games, 13 starts) and Brian Matusz (5-9, 5.24 ERA in 15 starts) each have a 5-plus ERA. Arrieta seems to have awakened since his brief banishment to the bullpen, but Matusz has taken another step back when it looked like he was emerging again.
Something has got to change if this team expects to be competitive in the second half of the season.
There are some in-house alternatives. Eveland (3.24 ERA in 10 games, one start) has started in the past. Chris Tillman, Zach Britton and Miguel Gonzalez are at Norfolk. Tillman has pitched well in the last month; Britton has been uneven in his return from a shoulder injury, but he excelled when he first came up last year; Gonzalez is a wild card with a good arm.
Yes, Dylan Bundy is also in the wings, but not yet, people, not yet.
Jamie Moyer is no longer a consideration, but there are names out there that are supposedly on the trade block (Matt Garza, Wandy Rodriguez and injured pitchers Joe Saunders and Ryan Dempster, to name a few).
My guess is this rotation will get a jolt – and maybe soon. Saturday’s starter is still listed as TBA, though Hunter is the leading candidate (he threw two innings on Tuesday in relief, so he still could get the call).
I want to know what you think the Orioles’ five-man rotation should be by, say, the start of the second half. I’ll let you pick one guy out of the organization, but only one. And be reasonable. The Orioles won’t be able to land Zack Greinke without giving up the farm (and, by that, think Manny Machado or Bundy. And that won’t happen). I’m not even sure they could win a bidding war for the services of guys like Garza either. But I’ll let you dream a little.
Daily Think Special: Who should be in the Orioles’ five-man rotation starting the second half?