As the 2017 season slowly and painfully nears its end for the Baltimore Orioles, the team continues to be plagued by horrendous pitching.
Monday night’s agonizing 10-8 loss to the Boston Red Sox in 11-innings, having earlier lead 6-1 in the 5th, proved to be the latest failure in an ever-growing and increasingly frustrating list of capitulations.
Here’s some stats on the team’s pitching performances in 2017:
777 – runs allowed, the third most in the League (Tigers 820, Athletics 780).
733 – earned runs allowed, the second most in the League (Tigers 773).
4.90 – ERA, the second highest in the League (Tigers 5.29).
1.45 – WHIP, the second highest in the League (Tigers 1.49).
.269 – opponents’ average, the second highest in the League (Tigers .283).
542 – walks issued, the second most in the League (White Sox 585).
226 – home runs allowed, the second most in the League (White Sox 230).
5.66 – starting pitching ERA, the worst in the Major Leagues.
Of the 25 pitchers used this season, more than half (13) have an ERA exceeding 5.25, while none of the seven starters used have an ERA lower than Dylan Bundy’s 4.24.
On eight occasions the offense has put up at least seven or more runs, yet it still resulted in a loss, and opponents have scored 10 or more runs 15 times.
Looking ahead to the pitching staff in 2018, Dan Duquette has a bit of work to do this winter to improve the situation. Ubaldo Jimenez won’t be returning and I wouldn’t expect the team to re-sign Wade Miley. Miguel Castro has great stuff and has been lengthened out a few times in 2017. The Orioles will work with him during spring to see if he can fill a back end of the rotation spot no doubt. Chris Tillman has been terrible, however has had to overcome injuries and has credits in the bank. He’ll get an opportunity to prove himself capable once again. As painful as it is to admit, Bundy and Gausman probably aren’t going to be the studs we once expected. This team needs a genuine stopper, someone to come in and snap the skids which we’re seeing all too often.
The bullpen is far more stable, despite the occasional implosion this season. Should Castro move into the rotation, the O’s will need to fill a significant void and I don’t believe there are any suitable candidates within the organization to do that effectively.
As it currently stands, here are the candidates and the gaps for Opening Day on 29 March.
2. Dylan Bundy
3. Kevin Gausman
4. Chris Tillman
5. Miguel Castro
2. Donnie Hart
3. Mychal Givens
4. Brad Brach
5. Richard Bleier
6. Darren O’Day
7. Zach Britton