Alright, I know that title sounds a bit outlandish, but hear me out!
So far, we obviously know who the Birds’ standouts have been. Matt Harvey took on the Yankees a few nights ago and showed himself like he was prime Dark Night, only giving up one run and one hit over 6.0 innings. That’s something that nobody expected out of Harvey at this point in his career.
Watching John Means just feels like it’s unfair. He has a top four ERA in baseball (1.50) and he’s showing off his healthy self.
But past that, things get a bit shakier. Bruce Zimmermann has consistently given up around three runs per game, Jorge Lopez has had some high highs, and low lows, and Dean Kremer has had a rough go of it. For me, I feel like they have some potential to get better in a system where they aren’t expected to throw gems every time they step on the mound.
As for the Birds’ bullpen, to my eye, it’s been better than expected. To be fair, my expectations were on the floor to start the season, but guys like Cesar Valdez have impressed thus far. Now as a guy who really only watches O’s games consistently (and not all of MLB), I wanted to see how these guys stacked up against the rest of the league.
With how much everyone (including myself) has complained about pitching, the O’s are statistically impressive so far. They rank 10th in the AL in team ERA (4.10), 11th in amount of hits given up with 203, and 10th in walks given up. In most categories, the O’s are just about to slightly-below average.
Compared to where we were in the last 162-game season (dead last in ERA, 14th in hits allowed), the O’s are showing some major improvement with these young guys.
And I just want to double down: many of these guys haven’t been in a real rotation before, so this is a solid sign for the future if they’re holding their own for the most part against legit teams.
The O’s still have some draft picks that have yet to see the Major League field that are supposed to impress for years to come like Grayson Rodriguez and D.L. Hall, so I think this pitching staff is slowly turning things around.
I’m here for it.