Could the Orioles attempt a six man rotation in 2012?
Things to consider:
Orioles have a good number of starting pitchers.
Do not have any top tier starting pitchers.
Do not have any innings eaters. (Guthrie kinda sorta)
Do have two pitchers accustomed to a 6 man rotation (Chen and Wada)
Look at this data:
|Player||Max IP||Career ERA+|
|Matusz||175||77 (98 before 2011)|
|Hunter||128 (163 miL 08)||99|
There are 10 starting pitchers. Only 1 (Guthrie) has ever thrown 200 IP in a season. I may have missed if someone threw 200 combined MiL and ML, but still, only 1 has thrown 200+ in the ML.
The two Japanese pitchers top out in the mid 180 IP several times in there careers. They are accustomed to throwing in a 6 man rotation.
Is it wise to attempt to use these 10 pitchers in a 5 man rotation for 162 game season? They (not Chen or Wada) have been in such a system before with poor results. Chen and Wada have succeed in a 6 man rotation throwing 180 innings.Why repeat what has not worked.
Using 6 of these 10 as starters, keeps 4 available in the bullpen or Norfolk to fill in. So there is plenty of depth (not even considering O'Day and Eveland who are really last ditch depth).
Here is a comparison. The Rays had a top notch pitching staff in 2011. All but 14 games were started by there top 5 SP's. That is amazing! Here is how the IP broke down:
There is simply no way reasonable way the Orioles can hope to get such production out of 5 SP's in the group above. It would take an unprecedented improvement as a group.
I propose trying something different. Use 6 starting pitchers with the hope of getting 1000 innings this way:
SP 1: 200
Obviously hoping to get 162 starts out of 6 pitchers is unlikely as well, but this is a more realistic goal then getting 1000 out of 5.
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