• Jan

    Should the Orioles go to a six-man rotation?

    by srock

    Could the Orioles attempt a six man rotation in 2012?

    Should they?

    Things to consider:

    Orioles have a good number of starting pitchers.
    Do not have any top tier starting pitchers.
    Do not have any innings eaters. (Guthrie kinda sorta)
    Do have two pitchers accustomed to a 6 man rotation (Chen and Wada)

    Look at this data:

    Player Max IP Career ERA+
    Guthrie 209 105
    Britton 154 90
    Arrieta 150 (miL) 85
    Matusz 175 77 (98 before 2011)
    Simon 115 81
    Hunter 128 (163 miL 08) 99
    Bergesen 170 92
    Tillman 174 (BAL+miL) 77
    Wada 184 2.88 (ERA)
    Chen 188 2.48 (ERA)

    There are 10 starting pitchers. Only 1 (Guthrie) has ever thrown 200 IP in a season. I may have missed if someone threw 200 combined MiL and ML, but still, only 1 has thrown 200+ in the ML.

    The two Japanese pitchers top out in the mid 180 IP several times in there careers. They are accustomed to throwing in a 6 man rotation.

    Is it wise to attempt to use these 10 pitchers in a 5 man rotation for 162 game season? They (not Chen or Wada) have been in such a system before with poor results. Chen and Wada have succeed in a 6 man rotation throwing 180 innings.Why repeat what has not worked.

    Using 6 of these 10 as starters, keeps 4 available in the bullpen or Norfolk to fill in. So there is plenty of depth (not even considering O'Day and Eveland who are really last ditch depth).

    Here is a comparison. The Rays had a top notch pitching staff in 2011. All but 14 games were started by there top 5 SP's. That is amazing! Here is how the IP broke down:

    Shields: 249
    Price: 224
    Hellickson: 189
    Davis: 184
    Niemann: 135
    TOTAL: 981
    AVG: 196

    There is simply no way reasonable way the Orioles can hope to get such production out of 5 SP's in the group above. It would take an unprecedented improvement as a group.

    I propose trying something different. Use 6 starting pitchers with the hope of getting 1000 innings this way:

    SP 1: 200
    SP2: 190
    SP3: 180
    SP4: 150
    SP5: 145
    SP6: 135

    Obviously hoping to get 162 starts out of 6 pitchers is unlikely as well, but this is a more realistic goal then getting 1000 out of 5.

    Talk about here

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