Welcome back to another season of O’s links! We try to find the most interesting stories from around the blog O’sphere and collect them in one place for you every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I give priority to our group of awesome local independent O’s bloggers, but we’ll have some links to stories on larger outlets as well, when they have things to say about our Birds.
The O’s streak of having won nine straight arbitration cases since losing to Ben McDonald in 1995 will be tested today, as the arbiters in Brad Brach’s case are expected to issue a ruling on Friday. Brach was an All-Star in 2016 after a stellar first half, but was markedly less reliable over the season’s final several months. The O’s won Caleb Joseph’s case earlier this month, when he was awarded $700,000 after filing for $1 million.
As Camden Depot’s Matt Kremnitzer points out, it was reasonable to expect Buck Showalter to use Dylan Bundy out of the bullpen in April. That would have caused a bunch of consternation among a certain segment of fans, but we’ll likely be spared that with the Chris Tillman news. Bundy should now plan on being in the rotation from day one. I agree with Matt that that’s both exciting and scary.
FanGraphs’ Eno Sarris, one of my favorite baseball (and beer!) writers, ranked MLB teams from 1-30 based on pitching depth, and the O’s came in at a woeful 29th. However, he used FIP-based WAR, and though he acknowledges that it’s “a bit of a blunt instrument” when it comes to analyzing pitchers, he neglects to mention this: FIP ALWAYS HATES THE ORIOLES. Stats guys love strikeouts and hate walks, and that’s one of the main reasons the projections always think the Birds are going to be bad. The guys at the top of the O’s rotation don’t miss a lot of bats; it’s no surprise that the 6th-8th guys on the depth chart aren’t going to either.
So I guess this means that Scott signed for another season? He’d agree with Eno’s analysis above…silly nerd. Scott & Jake talk to Tiny Tim Jones, producer of radio broadcasts of O’s baseball. For purists (read: old guys) like the BEV fellas and myself, there’s still something special about listening to baseball games on the radio, and Tim helps make that – and Joe Angel – happen.
Did you hear that the O’s signed former Marlin Chris Johnson? You’re excused if you missed it, as most of us assume CJ will be spring training fodder and nothing else, going the way of players like another CJ, Conor Jackson (though this CJ will hopefully not have to retire for medical reasons, of course). Camden Chat’s Chris Booze found something promising in Johnson’s numbers though, in an area in which the Orioles definitely need some help.