There is no doubt about the fact the Orioles need rotation help, and by help, I honestly mean HELP! Through 95 games this season, Chris Tillman has more than identified himself as this staff’s ace, but when you look at the guys behind Tillman, it is anything but impressive. There have been few bright spots in the rotation outside of guys not named Tillman, however, they literally are few and far between.
Ubaldo Jimenez pitched eight innings in the second game of a double header on May 7th, allowing two runs. Mike Wright took advantage of his second chance, shutting out the Royals through seven innings on June 6th. Tyler Wilson pitched eight shutout innings on June 16th in Boston, and Dylan Bundy picked up his first career victory as a starter last night against the Indians.
Yep, that’s about it.
So, with the trade deadline approaching, are the Orioles going to make a big move to get another arm in the rotation, and make a push towards the playoffs?
It seems like the Orioles are going to make me eat my words that I said on the Section 336 show, and they are trying to trade for an arm that will help get this club to the playoffs.
With the market for starting pitchers being as thin as it’s ever been, Jeremy Hellickson, and Andrew Cashner may be the Orioles best options. For Cashner, the Padres have made it clear that they want a top prospect from the Orioles farm system, however, would a top tier prospect be worth trading away?
The Orioles need a starter that can not only eat innings, but can also help them win on the road. With a record of 21-26 on the road, and 34 games remaining away from Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the O’s need to get a starter that can handle pitching on the road, and that is a proven winner. Is that starter Andrew Cashner?
Currently, Orioles starting pitchers are 11-21 in decisions away from OPACY, and an even more discouraging number is their 5.87 ERA on the road.
Andrew Cashner this season is 0-4 away from Petco Park, with a 6.59 ERA. Digging even deeper, in 50 career starts as a road pitcher, he has tallied a 9-26 record, with a career 4.55 ERA. Ouch. Obviously, Cashner won’t start every game on the road, but those numbers don’t make me anymore confident seeing him on the bump every fifth day.
Another name the Orioles have been linked to is Jeremy Hellickson. This season, Hellickson holds a 7-7 record, with a respectable 3.84 ERA. More importantly, Hellickson has experience pitching in the American League, and in the East division at that. As a member of the Tampa Bay Rays from 2010-2014, Hellickson finished first in Rookie of the Year voting in 2011, and won a Gold Glove for the pitcher position in 2012. Against AL East teams, Hellickson currently holds a record of 22-14, and that may be one reason the Orioles want to try to pull off a trade for him.
But, can he win on the road?
In 74 career starts over six seasons, Hellickson is 26-27 on the road, with a 4.22 ERA. This season, he’s 3-3, with a 4.10 ERA.
One thing remains, the Orioles are not going to get by with the makeshift rotation they have put together for 95 games this season. The starters are 19-12 when they start a game in the friendly confines of Orioles Park at Camden Yards, however, with one more road game remaining than home game (unless you count the two to be played in Washington against the Nationals) the O’s MUST trade for a starter that can pitch well on the road. If that doesn’t happen, I’m not confident whatsoever they’ll be able to make a solid run for the playoffs, or even play baseball after October 2nd this year.