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5 Starters, 6 Relievers, 14 Position Players


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With Alec Asher's move out of the pen and into the rotation last night, the O's changed the configuration  of the pitching staff.   The question of how long the O's can go with 6 relievers really depends on how deep the starters go.

Asher IMO moved to the 4th starter spot behind Bundy, Miley and Gausman.  Gausman has not pitched well consistently this year but his potential and history keeps him in the 3rd spot in the rotation.   The 5th spot should be between Ubaldo and Tillman.   As bad has Ubaldo has been he is probably better then Tillman at the moment.  I don't know whether Tillman will own up to it but in his last two rehab  starts his results point to him not being able to get loose in the first three innings.  In his 4th and 5th innings he pitches better.   After throwing 91 pitches last night he should be able to stretch out to 100 pitches in this next start.   But being effective with a tight arm in the first three innings remains a problem.  We will just have to wait and see how the O's handle it.

The pen is back to full strength with the return of Britton to join Brach, O'Day, Givens and Hart as the first five.   Bleier is the current minor leaguer on the shuttle.  And that is the entire pen because the O's are going with 14 position players.  The whole pen is not at mid season form yet.  Britton just off the DL is not in his normal dominate form.  Brach has been pretty good but did melt down once in the last week.  O'Day had that bout with the flu and was unable to put off his normal Houdini escape recently.  Givens came in last night with two runners on and allowed both to score.  Hart has been good but put those two runners on that Givens allowed to score.  These five relievers were the best unit in the AL last year.  And should be again.  They  just have not hit their stride yet.

Tillman doesn't have to return from his rehab assignment until May 16th.   However Buck said before last night's game that its not about Tillman's results, its about how he feels.   Tillman said he felt fine after his last rehab starts and he will probably say that again.  But in truth if he O's want to win, it should be about results.   There is no good reason to put Tillman back in the rotation when he can try to work out his first three inning problems in the minors.  

Whenever Tillman returns to the majors the O's probably have to go back to 13 position players with one of Tillman or Ubaldo going to the pen.  Which position player leaves the team may be about their health  otherwise the O's will have to make a decision based on performance.

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13 minutes ago, MattStepp said:

To me its probably Gentry who goes down.....I like Gentry as a late inning defensive replacement...but Rickard being back I think ends that...

I think there's a good chance Mancini will go down. If you look at his numbers this year, he has reverse splits. He has hammered right-handed pitching while his numbers have been atrocious against lefties. There's really no use for him unless the Orioles want to bench/trade Kim or Smith. Sending Mancini down will allow him to play everyday and get used to playing in the outfield. Plus Mancini still has a lot of room for improvement. Having a 37.5% strikeout rate is Chris Davis-like while his walk rate has been miniscule. 

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56 minutes ago, MattStepp said:

To me its probably Gentry who goes down.....I like Gentry as a late inning defensive replacement...but Rickard being back I think ends that...

Gentry would have to be passed through waivers. Not that losing him is a huge concern but it is a consideration when Rickard hasn't been any better.

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