I certainly understand why a five-man rotation is better than a six-man rotation if you have a dominant pitcher (the theory is you are giving your number pitcher innings to your sixth best starter), but the Orioles don't have one as of this time.
I took a look over their career numbers and Britton, Arrieta, Matusz, and Hunter all pitch better after five days of rest instead of four days of rest. With the addition of Chen and Wada (both pitched in six-man roations), maybe it's something the Orioles should consider. Guthrie is the only pitcher who pitches better with four days rest instead of five so maybe this is more reason to trade him before the season starts.
If the Orioles traded Guthrie, I could see a rotation of Britton, Chen, Arrieta, Wada, Matusz, and Hunter. It sounds crazy, but what do we really have to lose? If Britton or anyone else steps up and starts to pitch like an ace, you can always go back to five-man rotation.
Now, the bullpen will be the issue. Do you go with six relievers or seven? I'd say six relievers with two being long guys:
It doesn't mean the Orioles need to do this for years to come, but maybe, with the addition of the Asian pitchers who are used to pitching every sixth day, and the fact that all of the Orioles young pitchers have shown to be better on five days rest instead of four, maybe just maybe this is crazy enough to work?
As it stands now, we no additions to the projected opening day lineup, it will be hard pressed to see the Orioles not finishing last in the AL East once again. So in that light, what do they have to lose? Sometimes you have to think outside the box to get a result that no one thought would happen.
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Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.