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Britt's News: Rotation Order, 5th starter could be reliever spot-start; Duke out to end of April


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#orioles will def go w 4 starters. Guthrie is OD then Matusz. Arrieta is home opener.
Bergesen would likely be third, altho still publicly a competition w. tillman and britton. New timetable on duchscherer is april 21.
Os could use reliever from april 10 on to spot start if need be.

Interesting tweets all around.

If they plan on going spot-starters for two games prior to April 20th, then I could see Rupe making the team. It will also allow for another long reliever.

If they truly think Britton is the best pitcher, then bringing up Tillman for two starts wouldn't make a lot of sense so I guess the better approach is to send them both down if you really want to use Britton.

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More from Roch:

The Orioles will begin the season with a four-man rotation. Jeremy Guthrie has officially been named the opening night starter on April 1 at Tropicana Field. Brian Matusz will start the second game. Jake Arrieta is expected to start the April 4 home opener.

Showalter hasn't named a No. 3 starter. The competition includes Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman and Zach Britton.

The Orioles will need a fifth starter on April 10, and Showalter indicated that he could pull a pitcher out of the bullpen.

Other cuts today included Chris Jakubauskas, Mike Ballard, Alberto Castillo, Chris George and Michel Hernandez.

Guthrie will start Sunday's split-squad game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Tillman gets the Red Sox here in the other game.

Matusz pitches in a Triple-A game on Monday, while Britton starts here against the Tigers.

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If they go four, than we know Tillman and Britton are going down. I find it hard to believe they would send down Bergesen, or put him in the bullpen.

Interesting strategy, though. It means Britton has essentially made the club, short service-time considerations.

Except Duke could take the rotation spot if he does indeed return on April 21st.

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So, my assumption continues to be that Tillman joins the rotation 4/10.

Now the question becomes if JD is ready to come off the DL and start 4/24, what do the O's do.

Number of things need to be seen/determined before that bridge is crossed I guess.

From what I gather, they want to use the relievers to spot start those two starts prior to April 20th and if healthy, Duke will take over that rotation spot. I guess it hinges on his health, as they would probably like Tillman and Britton to both go down to Norfolk and have neither yo-yoed between the majors and AAA. If Duke isn't healthy to go, it will be interesting if they spot start and call up Britton or if Duke has a considerable set-back they call up Tillman instead.

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My guess goes something like this:




Bergesen start as the top 4








Rupe and Hendrickson

Britton, Tillman, Riske, Rapada, and Drese go to AAA

Duchscherer to DL

VandenHurk to waivers if cleared sent to AAA or AA to start.

Hendrickson or Berken get spot starts on 10th, and 15th.

Britton promoted on 21st and becomes official 5th starter, Hendrickson or Rupe sent to AAA or released.

Tillman first guy up if anyone goes down unless after May 1st and Duchscherer is ready.

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Yeah, I think you are reading this right... though there will be other things at play here... are the other starters providing enough ip? Is the bench completely limited with that extra relief pitcher?

My guess is that the O's will decide by 4/10 (as long as Norfolk start goes well) that it makes more sense to bring up Tillman than it does to continue to limit the bench and go with a relief pitcher.

Of course the other thing to be watching are the reports on Duchscherer and how he is progressing. If he looks/feels good like he did today, maybe the O's do try and wait.

Well the bench won't be limited. We will still only have 12 pitchers on the roster.

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There has been talk of going with 13 pitchers to start the year. I agree it is unlikely.

Tony's scenario above is interesting. Gives the O's the extra year of service time for Britton, but up before he would likely avoid Super 2 status. Frankly, Tony probably has this one right.

I was down on Hendrickson last year, but I think he makes a lot of sense with this roster.

This is the first I have heard of it.

Tony's plan sounds good, I just think the one thing will be if Duke is the 5th starter or not, if not, then Britton gets the go ahead.

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To me it sounds like Guthrie, Matusz, Bergesen, Arrieta. Duke gets 1st shot at the 21st. If he's not able, then it's Tillman OR Britton. Whoever's pitching better.

By that time, 4 times thru the rotation, Bergy or even Arrieta could be struggling, or anyone could be injured (knock wood). Then you could see Britton AND Tillman.

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