These Ain’t Weaver’s Orioles, But They Ain’t Bad
I have to be honest. I was expecting to give the Baltimore Orioles some love this year after they finished 83-79 last year. Not surprisingly, they have started off well (26-14). But after looking at the numbers, it is really shocking how they are doing it.
First off, there is dumb luck and weirdness. Grayson Rodriguez is 2-1 with 50 strikeouts and 18 walks in 42 innings-pitches. With numbers like that you would figure an earned run average around 3.00, right?
Rodriguez is ringing up guys left and right but other guys are torching him like a bonfire at homecoming. Giving up as many hits as strikeouts, giving them up in bunches, and a 6.21 ERA can’t yield these results forever. He has to start missing more bats and his catcher needs to start having make pitches based on the location of the previous pitches.
Despite Rodriguez’ ERA, the rest of the Orioles have compiled a 4.07 ERA, which is good for 13th in Major League Baseball. Joey Wells is 3-1 with a 2.94 ERA which offsets Dean Kremer’s 4.64 ERA. Considering three teams have ERAs over 5.00, I guess 4.64 isn’t all that bad. Urp. Kyle Gibson’s 4.24 ERA suits a fourth starter but he’s third now behind Kyle Bradish (3.90 which is three-quarters of a run lower than his career mark).
Three words may help explain a lot: pitch counts and bullpen. The starters aren’t going much past the sixth inning, which means two runs in the first half of the game would yield those higher ERAs.
Bryan Baker (2.86 ERA, 1.23 WHIP), (4.29 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP) can get three outs.
Offensively, they are not great across the board. Austin Hays is hitting .311, which is 50 points above his career average. He’s hitting everything hard in the zone unless it is low and inside. Cedric Mullins (.283)has cut his strikeout-to-walk ratio drastically 3:2 this year compared to 5:2 the last two years. Ok, ok. Adley Rutschman is pretty good(.273 batting average, six home runs, and an .858 on-base-plus-slugging percentage). Anthony Santander plays because he only makes an error a year. Hitting 20 home runs and .250 is tolerable given that.
They have a little pop, which helps. Ten players combined have 48 home runs in 40 games, with the leader, Ryan Mountcastle, having eight.
Earl Weaver made a living with a base bit, a walk, and a three-run homer. Weaver had fantastic starting pitching. Brandon Hyde does not have that but his bullpen is a heck of a lot better. If he could get a bat through trade or call up, they could win 90. As is…