Before entering this series in Toronto, the Orioles pitching staff had given up just 2 runs, over 4 games. That’s 36 full innings of 2-run baseball. That is pretty impressive, considering that the previous 6 games O’s pitching allowed no less than 5 runs in each game, and as much as 9 on June 1st, against Boston.
Fans had been treated to stellar outings from our starters, and even more impressive appearances from our bullpen. Even Ubaldo Jimenez, the Orioles most consistent (on the wrong side) starter had turned in a decent, and passable outing on June 7th, against Kansas City, going 5 innings, and allowing only 1 run.
But, let’s come back down to Earth now, shall we? Since the Toronto series started on Friday night, our starters have gone 17 innings, and have allowed 11 earned runs. The bullpen, with the exception of today’s game, had been on point. In three games here in Toronto, the bullpen has allowed 8 earned runs, with 7 of them coming from McFarland, and Dunesing today.
Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, and Ublado Jimenez have a combined 8 wins on the year, meanwhile, Chris Tillman alone has an 8-1 record. Are those three starting pitchers going to settle in here, now that we’re in the seasons third month, or are we going to be seeing 4 or 5 innings from a starter every third, fourth, and fifth day?
Yovani Gallardo is set to have one more rehab start in Charlotte, for the Norfolk Tides, on Monday, and is expected to be activated from the DL from that point. Gallardo hasn’t pitched in a major league game since April 22, so it will be interesting to see when he is called upon from the DL, who he returns to face. Will it be Boston, at Fenway Park, or Toronto, at Camden Yards?
The question is then raised, who does Gallardo replace? I think we can all go out on a limb and say it is NOT going to be Ubaldo Jimenez. The Orioles have too much money remaining on his contract to move him to the bullpen again. He’s going to remain in the rotation whether we like it or not. Unless of course he goes 2 innings, and allows 7 runs in his start tomorrow. It may be removal time from that point. So, Wilson, or Wright? We’ve seen Wright as good as 7 IP (twice), and 0 runs, and as bad as 2.2 IP, and 6 ER allowed. Wright shows when he is on, he has commanding stuff, including a fastball that can get to 95-96 MPH, and when located on the lower outside part of the plate, it is unhittable. Then you turn to Tyler Wilson, who has also touched the 7 IP mark one time this season, and has gone 5.2 IP, 4 IP, 6.2 IP, 6 IP, and 6 IP in his last 5 starts. Out of those 5 outings, however, the Orioles have only been victorious in 1, and he has allowed 21 earned runs.
So who do you promote to the bullpen, Birdland? Do you move a hot-headed Mike Wright to the bullpen to become a matchup guy, I mean he has only allowed a .230 vs. RHP this season. What about Tyler? Do you send him to be a long reliever in the ‘pen, again? In 2015, Tyler pitched 4 times out of the bullpen, and only allowed 1 run. What if one of these two pitchers gets a ticket to pitch in Norfolk, and Odrisamer Despaigne gets a call up to pitch? Despaigne has allowed 1 run or less 4 times in his past 5 starts, with only allowing 3 in the remaining start. Currently, Despaigne has a 2.85 ERA pitching with a 1-4 record with the Tides.
Make the call Birdland, tell me your move when Gallardo comes back from the DL, who do you think is going to be removed from the starting rotation?