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Was the Orioles starting pitching in 2014 lucky or are they good


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One thing about Palmer, he is honest. So was Norris in 2014,the outlier on his career or being with a better team and perhaps pitching coach change him.

So today we wonder: Will the Orioles, winners of 96 games and the American League East title a year ago, be able to summon the kind of starting pitching that would allow those accomplishments to be repeated?

Let's see, none other than Jim Palmer said before the game, if our guys can do it again.

To be clear, the Orioles reached the AL Championship Series a year ago because they hit more home runs than any team in baseball, because Manager Buck Showalter deftly handles his bullpen and because they have a make-every-play-in-front-of-you defense that allowed the fewest unearned runs in the league. But their starting staff, fronted by still-developing ace Chris Tillman, has popularly been labeled as underrated. No household names. Fifth in the American League in ERA. Reliable.

Theyre underrated because, unless its [Kevin] Gausman out there, they don"t light up the radar gun,Palmer said. Indeed, according to Pitchf/x, the average fastball in baseball last year registered at 92.1 mph. Baltimore starters Wei-Yin Chen (91.9), Miguel Gonzalez (90.9) and Tillman (90.8) were all under that. This is an era in which strikeouts are being recorded at record levels, and the Orioles rotation ranked 11th in the American League in strikeouts and strikeout rate in 2014. Sexy they are not.

So the question becomes whether it will happen more frequently this year across the board for Baltimore than it did a year ago. Palmer brought up some potential reasons for . . . if not concern, then reasons to pay attention. Last year, for instance, Norris allowed opposing hitters a .173 average with runners in scoring position.

Thats an incredibly low number, Palmer said. Is that an aberration?

The Orioles starters, as a group, allowed a .200 average with runners in scoring position. Go even deeper, and they gave up a .244 batting average on balls in play plate appearances that end in something other than a walk, strikeout, hit batter, sacrifice bunt or homer. Both of those numbers were second in the league. Both are the kind of stats that analysts believe even out over time. Yes, that dreaded sabermetric phrase: regression to the mean. Translation: A great number one year must mean a lousy one the next because it all evens out.

They got a lot of good players, Joseph said. But we like our staff, too.

As they should. What will be interesting is whether they?re saying that in September and deep into October.

They've all gotten better, Palmer said. Can they repeat?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/at-orioles-home-opener-a-regression-to-the-mean/2015/04/10/b86ca8b2-dfd7-11e4-be40-566e2653afe5_story.html

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"Let's see," none other than Jim Palmer said before the game, "if our guys can do it again."

To be clear, the Orioles reached the AL Championship Series a year ago because they hit more home runs than any team in baseball, because Manager Buck Showalter deftly handles his bullpen and because they have a make-every-play-in-front-of-you defense that allowed the fewest unearned runs in the league. But their starting staff, fronted by still-developing ace Chris Tillman, has popularly been labeled as underrated. No household names. Fifth in the American League in ERA. Reliable.

"They're underrated because, unless it's [Kevin] Gausman out there, they don't light up the radar gun," Palmer said. Indeed, according to Pitchf/x, the average fastball in baseball last year registered at 92.1 mph. Baltimore starters Wei-Yin Chen (91.9), Miguel Gonzalez (90.9) and Tillman (90.8) were all under that. This is an era in which strikeouts are being recorded at record levels, and the Orioles? rotation ranked 11th in the American League in strikeouts and strikeout rate in 2014. Sexy they're not.

So the question becomes whether it will happen more frequently this year - across the board for Baltimore - than it did a year ago. Palmer brought up some potential reasons for . . . if not concern, then reasons to pay attention. Last year, for instance, Norris allowed opposing hitters a .173 average with runners in scoring position.

"That's an incredibly low number," Palmer said. "Is that an aberration?"

The Orioles' starters, as a group, allowed a .200 average with runners in scoring position. Go even deeper, and they gave up a .244 batting average on balls in play - plate appearances that end in something other than a walk, strikeout, hit batter, sacrifice bunt or homer. Both of those numbers were second in the league. Both are the kind of stats that analysts believe even out over time. Yes, that dreaded sabermetric phrase: regression to the mean. Translation: A great number one year must mean a lousy one the next because it all evens out.

"They got a lot of good players," Joseph said. "But we like our staff, too."

As they should. What will be interesting is whether they're saying that in September and deep into October.

"They've all gotten better," Palmer said. "Can they repeat?"

fixed the grammar

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regression to the mean. Translation: A great number one year must mean a lousy one the next because it all evens out.

This is a horribly inaccurate statement. There's no rule that says a bad year must even out a good year, it would simply suggest that it's more likely they'll perform to their career averages over time versus repeating the very good numbers from a single year.

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I think they benefited by having a great defense behind them, but they aren't bad. For the most part, they are league average starters that can afford to induce ground balls because they can trust the infield behind them. If they didn't have this defense, they might try to strike guys out more and be successful, but who knows. My biggest worry has been pitch count for several years.

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