Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Walk this way

I'm going to say something that is not exactly groundbreaking.

Orioles pitchers can't throw strikes.

For the second season in a row, the Orioles will have allowed the most walks in the AL. The Orioles have not cracked the top 10 in walks allowed (allowing the least) since 2002.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we have a problem.

For too long the Orioles have placed an emphasis on hard-throwers (Daniel Cabrera) and pitchers with "stuff" (Adam Loewen) over pitchers who have good control. The one Orioles pitcher who exuded good control in the MiL was traded faster than you can say "Anna Benson in a half-buttoned Orioles uniform".

Something needs to change. The Orioles can't keep allowing walks if they want to make a jump to the next level. Take a look at the first place teams in the AL right now. Tampa is 7th in walks allowed, Chicago 4th, Minnesota is 1st and the Angels are 3rd.

It's common sense. Less base runners allowed = less runs allowed.

And right now the Orioles are giving away free base runners like they are at a Grand Opening.

Things may get better as the young pitchers (Olson and Liz) get more MLB experience, but pitchers like Cabrera and Burres are who they are. And neither of them should be in the starting rotation come 2009 because they simply don't throw enough strikes.

What the Orioles need to do this offseason, amongst dozens of other things, is change the pitching philosophy in the minors. Draft pitchers who throw strikes. Sign pitchers who can throw strikes. Trade for pitchers who can throw strikes. Sign coaches who preach throwing strikes above all else.

Enough with the raw talent pitchers who can't throw strikes!


Anonymous said...

Obviously the players' union would never let this happen, but I'd like to see a fine system put in place where, every time an O's pitcher walks a batter in a certain situation, he gets fined a certain dollar amount. It would be a progressive system, because walking a guy with nobody else on base isn't as severe as, say, what Walker and Cherry did yesterday.

SeanJ said...

It couldn't be an official fine or docking of salary, but it could be something done in the locker room, kangaroo court style.