Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rotation taking shape

If you’ve been following the O’s this spring, you probably know that the rotation is taking shape as we speak. With Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara the only guaranteed starters, and Rich Hill currently injured, there are currently 5 candidates to fill 3 spots.

Adam EatonThe Trachselesque Veteran. Putting it mildly, Eaton has been eaten on the mound since 2005, including this spring. He pitches to contact, and more times than not, that contact turns into hits and runs. But, the O’s still seem to go ga-ga over pitchers who have “done it before”, regardless of whether they are any good or not.

Mark HendricksonLurch. In an offseason of smart, low-risk, high-reard moves, the signing of Hendrickson leaves many O’s fans scratching their heads. The O’s have plenty of arms that could have taken Hendrickson’s place in the rotation and bullpen, but the O’s saw it fit to ink Hendrickson to a 1-year, $1.5 million contract. In the past, Hendrickson has been solid out of the bullpen, and solid crap (the week old kind) as a starter. As more and more candidates fall out of contention for whatever reason, the likelihood of Hendrickson being forced into the rotation becomes greater.

Hayden Pennthe Former Prospect. Penn was the organization’s #1 pitching prospect before Adam Loewen came along. Yeah, it’s been a while. Penn has suffered through bad luck and injuries, and bad luck injuries, and has failed to regain the top prospect status he had a few years ago. He also hasn’t done much thus far in spring training to warrant a guaranteed spot. It appears likely that Penn will make the team however, since he is out of options, and can’t be sent down to the minors without first being put on waivers. Penn has only pitched 10 innings in 5 different games, so it looks like Penn is headed for the bullpen.

Brian Bassthe Retread. You may not remember (I sure as hell didn’t), but Bass pitched for the Orioles last September and didn’t humiliate himself like the rest of the team was intent on doing (4.71 ERA in 21 IP), so that alone gives Bass a chance. It looks like only one of Bass and Penn will be in the rotation with the other in the bullpen.

Alfredo Simonthe Dark Horse. Simon also pitched for the O’s last season, and even pitched a solid game against the AL Champion Rays before the bullpen took over and handed them the game. Simon has pitched well this spring and is said to have great stuff, despite his downright horrid MiL numbers.

So there you have it. The O’s rotation could be filled with a whole lotta nothing, but remember, kids… the cavalry is coming!