First, the positives from last night’s 12-6 loss in Toronto…
Despite the fact that he got the loss, I came away very impressed with Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman. As is to be expected, he had some growing pains, but I was drooling at the potential.
Gausman was hitting 99 on the gun with his fastball and he looked effortless doing it. Unless he implodes or gets hurt, I’d expect him to pitch every fifth day for rest of the season. What’s more, he could be the club’s best starter very shortly.
I also continue to love what I’m seeing from Manny Machado – three more doubles last night (he leads the league with 21), and nothing seems to faze him.
Now for the bad news…
Gausman got the loss, but this game was lost by Troy Patton and Pedro Strop.
Patton got the first two outs in the sixth inning and then went 3-0 to Toronto’s number nine hitter Munenori Kawasaki, ultimately walking him.
Kawasaki is batting .214 with zero home runs and nine RBIs on the year…throw him a damn strike! He then walked Melky Cabrera and was replaced by Strop.
You could’ve predicted what happened next. I know this because after two pitches to Jose Bautista I said he would walk him and give up a grand slam to Edwin Encarnacion.
Strop threw Encarnacion two batting practice fastballs. The first he took. The second one he crushed down the left field line for a home run.
8-3 Blue Jays. Game basically over.
My question is, “when is it time to cut bait with Pedro Strop?”
I say the time is now. You can’t even trust him to throw strikes and that’s in a pitcher’s basic job description. This game is on Patton more than Strop in my opinion but how many games will he cost the team before you say enough is enough? His ERA is over 6.00 this season. I’m done with the talk about how good he could be if he could just harness his stuff. There’s no investment here. They acquired Strop in a deal with Texas Rangers for Michael Gonzalez, who the Orioles were thrilled to get anything for. He’s not making a bunch of money. Please bring someone in who can throw strikes. I would trust Jake Arrieta more in this role. If he figures it out with someone else so be it.
Rip the band-aid off and designate him for assignment ASAP.
The Baltimore Orioles are too good of a baseball team to be wasting any more time with Pedro Strop.