Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Baltimore Orioles Season Preview - Part II

Another night of American Idol, another long post here at Stupid Angelos. Coincidence? Yes, damn man - stop asking already.

Anyway, tonight the crack staff here at Stupid Angelos looks at the bullpen of the Orioles. We reviewed the starting pitchers yesterday and discovered that the bullpen needs to be strong in order for this team to have any chance of success.

Last year, the O's bullpen was the joke of the league. Sam Perlozzo has told stories of pitchers having high pitch counts in the first inning causuing concern. You just can't win with a bullpen like that. So any improvement in the bullpen will have a big effect on the team's overall success.

How bad was last year's bullpen? Well lets see. Some of my favorite stats are: losing record, ERA over 5, tons of walks, more hits than innings pitched, and a low number of strikeouts. In other words, the exact opposite of what you need in a bullpen.

So your team has the worst bullpen in baseball? What do you do about this? If your the O's, you completely overhaul your bullpen. How about that? The O's made some good decisions. Not great ones, but good ones. I mean what is the point of having a stud young closer if you can't get to him.

Without further ado, lets get to the preview of the O's bullpen.

Scott Williamson

Ugh. Scott has had several good years in his career. Unfortunately the last good one was 2003. His ERA for the last two years has been over 5.5. Not good. He does strikeout a decent amount of batters (just over 1 per inning).

Chad Bradford

Okay, this actually makes me feel a bit better. A pretty good arm out of the 'pen who throws sidearm. This is the type of pitcher you need to have a successful bullpen. He can come in and get a couple tough outs in the 6 or 7th innings. He has a decent ERA and is tough to hit. I think he will end up being a very productive part of this bullpen.

Dany Baez

In order to help my sanity a bit, I am going to assume that his 2006 was a fluke. If you look at his stats from the previous few years, he actually looks like a decent pitcher. Of course, he played for the Devil Rays. By the time the Ray's bullpen came in, they were losing and the other team was starting to relax. Before last year, he had a high number of innings, a reasonable ERA, and a low hits/ip ration. If he regains that form, the O's will have another strong contributor.

Jim Hoey

Here, let me. Who??? Actually, Jimmy Hoey (say that 5 times fast) was a late season call up. He had a few good outings and a few bad outings. I would not expect to see him in any close game situations.

Hayden Penn

I expect Penn to be starting by the All-Star Break when he takes Trachsel's place in the rotation. Before that, expect to see him in some long relief efforts to get him a lot of innings. Obviously, his stats didn't look so good last year. But it was his first cup-o'-coffee in the bigs. I think his stats may not be so great this year but we'll find out if he is worth the effort.

Jamie Walker

Real good guy to have in your bullpen. He eats up a lot of innings in the 7th and 8th innings. His stats look good and he seems to be another one of those guys you need to have a good bullpen.

Remember, to have a successful bullpen you only need a couple things.

  1. 2 strong setup men. (Walker and Baez)

  2. A speciality guy (Bradford)

  3. Guys who won't blow a 4 run lead (Williamson and Penn - maybe)

  4. A stud closer

So that brings me too:

Chris Ray

So, where does that leave the O's. Well the bullpen still has some questions but they are clearly improved over last year's version. If last year's version only went 20-21, this year's should do much better. Lets say they gain 5 more wins because of this bullpen. That combined with my prediction yesterday of the 52 starting pitching wins puts them at 79 wins. Can the offense carry them that far? Will the defense hold? Find out with my next post....


SlickBomb said...

HoC, do you really think it's a good idea to equate the best reliever on the team with the ambigously gay He-Man? Not to get all Tim Hardaway on ya... but it miiiight not be a good sign.

Hustler of Culture said...

Gee thanks Slickbomb. Thanks for taking away the only good image I had of this post...

But at the same time, this team is battliing for third place anyway. So the term "good sign" is relative anyway....


The Agency said...

HoC, me thinks that slickbomb read a little too much into that pic. Personally tho, I think Lion-O or Snake Eyes would have been better.

SlickBomb said...

Chris Ray is far too gangsta to have a hero like He-Man be his image. Advantage: Conan the Adventurer

Conan (NSFW)