Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Orioles and bad pitching

At 47-74, the Orioles have been bad in most phases of the game. Their hitting and fielding have been below average, but their overall pitching has been atrocious: The O's 4.86 team ERA is last in the majors. The Astros are the next closest team at 4.64. Considering the Astros play in a much weaker division, that may be a worse number. Still, the O's pitching has been horrendous, so let's see where they rank in some of the advanced pitching categories:

FIP: 4.67 (30th)
xFIP: 4.25 (28th)
fWAR: 5.7 (29th)
K/9: 6.4 (27th)
BB/9: 3.3 (23rd)
HR/9: 1.25 (30th)

So, yeah, not very good -- at all.

Right now, the O's only have four pitchers who have accumulated more than 1 win above replacement this season: Zach Britton (1.7), Jim Johnson (1.5), Jeremy Guthrie (1.3), and Koji Uehara (1.1). And Uehara is no longer with the team. Three other guys -- Chris Tillman (0.9), Alfredo Simon (0.8), and Tommy Hunter (0.6) -- are close to 1 fWAR, but still may not get there before the end of the season.

That's about it in terms of moderate pitching production. Some of the following guys have pitched well at times, but for the most part, they've struggled to bring much to the table (listed by 2011 fWAR numbers):

Brad Bergesen (0.4)
Troy Patton (0.2)
Chris Jakubauskas (0.1)
Willie Eyre (0.1)
Jake Arrieta (0.1)
Mark Hendrickson (0.0)
Clay Rapada (-0.1)
Kevin Gregg (-0.2)
Jo-Jo Reyes (-0.2)
Mike Gonzalez (-0.2)
Pedro Viola (-0.2)
Jeremy Accardo (-0.2)
Mark Worrell (-0.3)
Josh Rupe (-0.3)
Mitch Atkins (-0.4)
Jason Berken (-0.5)
Brian Matusz (-0.5)

Never thought I'd see Matusz's name on a list like this, but his issues have been well documented. But, wow, there's a lot of bad pitchers on that list. The sad thing is that there aren't a whole lot of pitchers ready in the minor leagues now who can do much better. More could be good to go in a year or so, but unless they go out and sign a couple of pitchers, the O's will just be hoping that guys like Matusz, Arrieta, Britton, and Tillman pitch better next season. That strategy hasn't worked so far, though.

When looking at some of the names above, I am reassured by the fact that the O's at least signed Dylan Bundy. Hopefully he reaches his potential, because the O's could sure use an ace.

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