Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Baltimore Orioles Season Preview - Part 1

Two reasons for this post:

1) It is a site named after the O's owner. It was probably time to do a post about the O's.
2) American Idol is on TV right now and Mrs. HoC is watching it. In other words, time for me to get away from the TV....

Because I don't feel like posting a 19,000 word article, I am going to break apart the O's season preview into a couple parts. This post is first in the series highlighted various sections of the team that will culminate into my final prediction for the season. Today we discuss the starting pitching.

Overall, the AL East has some of the best pitching in the league. Its not quite as strong as it was a couple years ago. Although the division still boasts names like Schilling, Mussina, and Halladay. So where does the O's starting rotation rank in the division. Not too shabby actually.

Lets look over the starting pitchers for the O's. Note: Kris Benson will be ignored for this since I am assuming that he is done for the year.

1. Erik Bedard
If you don't know this name, learn it. He's got the stuff of a #1 starter and can dominate. If he can be just a little more consistent than last year, he could make a run at 20 wins. He kept his ERA under 4 for the year and had a stretch of 8 games last year where he just owned. During this stretch, he went 7-0 with 60 Ks and an ERA of 1.45. He is young and good and getting better. Good thing to have at the top of the rotation.

Prediction: 16-8

2. Daniel Cabrera
Cabrera is....well frustrating. He has nasty stuff with a fastball that if it hit ya, would leave a two foot hole coming out. But he has no consistency. He had one outing against the Blue Jays where his line was: 9ip, 0er, 2bb, 10k. The previous outing? 4ip, 7er, 5bb, 3k. This happened all year. He was even sent down the minors for a short stint. A complete lack of consistency is not a good thing from a potential #2 starter. Note: I wanted this picture from Major League for him, so I went to Google Images and typed in: Vaughn Wild Thing....and Cabrera's picture came up. Not a good sign...

Prediction: 10-10

3. Jared Wright
The slope is becoming steeper. Jared is a sub-par starter who turned one really good year into a big contract with the Yankees who proceeded to give up after two years and now he's in Balmer. I think Jared is going to give me heartburn through the year. He only started some games last year (not all of them), gave up more hits than innings pitched, walked way too many batters, and had a high ERA. Not things you want to hear about one of your starting pitchers. The only redeming fact right now, the pitching coach from his one good year? Leo Mazzone. Lets hope that Leo can pull him back together this year.

Prediction: 14-9

4. Adam Loewen
No idea what to say here. Everyone O's fan has been hearing his name for a while now. He finally got a little playing time last year. It didn't go so well, but did it help him be ready for this year? That is the key question. If the time last year told him what he would need to make it, then maybe he'll be okay. I am not going to really break down his stats but there were some good signs: fewer hits than innings pitched and a high number of Ks.

Prediction: 8-15

5. Steve Trachsel
What is it with the O's and older Mets? When this move was first announced and I glanced at his stats, I actually thought this would work out well. But as I really looked into his stats a little deeper, I started to worry. The problems? Well there are more than a couple. He is getting up there in age (38 this year), his walks are up, his hits are up, he gives up too many HRs, and his ERA is way too high. Despite all this, he has had a good winning %. This is one of those cases where winning % is not giving you the whole story. I think Penn takes over for him right after the All-Star break.

Prediction: 4-9

Overall prediction: 52 - 51

This isn't so good. You need your starting pitching to do better than this. With starting pitching like this, the O's will need a steady bullpen, good fielding, and a powerful offense behind it. Will that happen? Stay tuned for the next section of the preview...

1 comment:

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