Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Musical Chairs in the Rotation

Start the music.

Brian Matusz will be making his first rehab start tonight. He will be under a restrictive 60 pitch count tonight in Frederick with the Orioles' single-A affiliate Keys. If you are in the area, check it out - unless it rains. Between Spring Training and now it feels like Matusz has had a inordinate number of starts washed away. Regardless Brian Matusz is set for a return in the near future which leaves the Orioles in an interesting position - too many pitchers!

The ascension of rookie Zach Britton and the continued sturdy performances of Guthrie and Arrieta that leaves Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman in a competition to stay in the rotation. Neither have had awe inspiring starts to the 2011 season. Neither had awe inspiring springs. So the question that persists is which one is the odd man out when the music stops?

The answer. Pick one

Yes, I know total cop out. But honestly this is the fourth time I have tried to write this article and basically at this point they are the same dang pitcher.

Bergy has the slight advantage in ERA and that complete game shut out looked really good.

Tillman has looked shaky at times throughout the season but we are really letting two bad starts color an otherwise decent start. DECENT?! You have gone mad Baker? The Hell you say! Honestly, it hasn't been that bad.

Going deeper Tillman has been keeping the ball in the park, only 1/3 of his hits given up are of the extra-base variety (opposed to over half for Bergy). His LD% is the lowest it has been in his short career (13%), 25% of all the fly balls he has allowed never left the infield (less than 10% for Bergy), only a little over 1% of ABs result in a HR and there is nothing he really has left to prove in AAA while Bergy's stuff will translate better in the bullpen than Tillman.

Bergy however has Tillman on more conventional measures of BB/9, SO/9, H/9, HR/9 and SO/BB. But honestly they are very similar and Bergy's slight advantage in those numbers could easily be colored by yesterday's start.

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