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TT: Arrieta takes lead in 5th starter competition


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"Jake was OK," Showalter said. "He only had four first-pitch strikes. That's something he's going to have to get better at. That's why he had some deep counts he shouldn't have had, but statistically, the results were there. He's got to get some counts in his favor.

"It was good, though. Don't get me wrong. He threw the ball well. He was crisp, he was good. You can tell he feels good."


....but Jake says:

On his ball-strike ratio not being great:

"I think a lot of that might have to do with wanting to throw breaking balls early in counts. I just missed with some pitches and the umpire came up to me after an inning and said he missed a couple and he owed me one. So, it's spring training and there are things I have to work on and get ready for the season, but at the same time, I've still got to go out there and compete.

"I think when I did get behind some guys, I was able to come right back at them and attack and even the count and get some big outs."

There's a middle ground there. It's important for Jake to work ahead, but I get what he's saying. Buck has the final say though. So, maybe better next time out that you work on first pitch strikes with the FB.

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At this point, if Arrieta can give us six good innings I'll take it! I think he's always going to be a high pitch count guy.

He does "only" have to be the 5th starter. Six innings most starts. Keep us in the game. Stick for a while and gain some confidence. I think it's good Jake is starting to step up.

Either way it 's still only the 11th. There's time for other to get hot. I agree Jake is leading right now but it still could be anybody's spot.

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My vote is Johnson or Britton. Jake is a project at this point until he figures it out. Maybe that happens in the next 3 weeks, who knows. Also. If someone else goes down, perhaps Jake will make it regardless.

Buck's remarks don't sound like a glowing endorsement though. I hadn't seen that. TJ got a better report from Buck.

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I think the next round of starts beginning this weekend will be really important. After that, the season is only about 10 days away and you have to choose five guys who you are going to allow to go 5-6 innings in their second-to-last outing. So, some choices have to be made by March 20 or so. If Jake goes 5 strong innings in his next outing, it will be hard to displace him as a practical matter.

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I've heard some rumblings that Matusz has looked pretty good thus far. Next round of starts will mean a lot (How do Matusz/Arrieta do over 5-6 innings?).

Could just be me and my fond memories, but I think it would be a shame if Brian doesn't get another crack at the rotation at some point. When he was on, he was quite good. He hasn't been that guy for a while, but I'd really like to see him get the chance at some point, rather than just relegating him to the bullpen for the rest of his time as an Oriole.

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Was looking up a few stats on the candidates for the rotation and found it very interesting that Arrieta's #1 comp is Jason Hammel on BR. There are a great deal of factors that lead into the #5 competition. If success last year had anything to do with it, I'd say bring on Steve Johnson. He reminds me of Brad Bergesen's 2009 season. Not saying Johnson is going to sustain his success, but his pitch movement and tenacity to attack hitters with it, was very successful last year and reminded me of BB's team leading WAR '09 (per BR) season. Then there is the ultimate IP stat to consider:

Johnson only threw 130 innings last year, while Matusz (145), Arrieta (170) had more and Britton (123) was a bit less. Matusz and Britton had injury concerns last year, while Jake was coming off bone chip surgery. IMO, Jake is the best option to start the season in the rotation from an innings limit perspective. Matusz should be ok as well, but I'd like to see him start off in the BP (e.g. Guthrie, Rodrigo Lopez) and earn a rotation spot. If one of the slotted 4 SP's cannot start the season, Johnson should get the shot if he's doing well. His innings will max out pretty quickly though. The O's have flexibility, I can see Johnson spot starting earlier in the season, if Matusz is not doing great, or filling in nicely at #5 in the second half. IMO, the order is Arrieta, Matusz, Johnson/Britton without injuries in the rotation. Replace Johnson with Matusz, if one goes down in ST (temporary move).

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Sorry Tony, hate to not agree with you, but I think Steve Johnson is in a better position. Really Gausman is in the lead for the 5th spot but wont get it due to other his clock and what not. If all things were equal you have Gausman, Johnson, Bundy, toss up between Matusz and Arrieta...:slytf:

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