Written by John Domen
Going into the season we all knew there were questions about how good the pitching would be in 2013. But I think one of the reasons the team decided against spending on overpriced free agent pitching was the assumption that reinforcements named Bundy and Gausman would be ready sometime in mid season, and capable of doing pitching as well or better than what was out there, once they had a bit more seasoning in the minors. We all know what happened with Bundy, and Gausman's work as a starter was a big disappointment earlier this year. It was a gamble that, this time, didn't pay off. Likewise, guys like Zach Britton or Jake Arrieta didn't step up either.
Another reason the team didn't quite make the playoffs this year centers on the bullpen. Gausman is the example I'll use this time, but it's just one of many instances where the bullpen failed to hold a lead. Too often we saw another team's leadoff man reach base and eventually come around to score when the next reliever couldn't get an out with a runner on base. Last night it was Matusz, for a while it seemed like it happened all the time with Patton (whether it did or not, that was just my impression). The only AL team with more blown saves than this Orioles' bullpen is Houston. Bullpens are unpredictable by their nature. Relievers are often made relievers because they're not consistent enough to be starters, so some regression from last year shouldn't be surprising. But that much regression is a lot for teams to overcome. Hopefully next year shows some improvement. I'd expect to see some familiar faces let go and new faces given a chance. Perhaps we see Dylan Bundy given a bullpen role for the first couple of months, but I'd more expect to see him in Bowie to start the year.
Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board