The Rundown: Birds’ Pitching Problems Run Deep

Chris Tillman of the Orioles prepares to pitch.
Craig Landefeld/GulfBird Photo

Lack of Pitching

The pitching struggles continue for the Orioles as Chris Tillman was once again ineffective on Tuesday night. The right-hander has an 8.39 ERA and 2.17 WHIP for the season after allowing five earned runs in only four innings of work against the Indians. The O’s are also on their way to setting a baseball record for the most consecutive games of allowing at least five earned runs. They have now done it for 17 consecutive games which is the second longest streak in the last 100 years.

There were a lot of bad Orioles teams during the dark years, but the fact that this group is approaching baseball immortality is tough to swallow. I don’t need to bring up the numbers from this pitching staff because we all know it’s extremely ugly. There are only two consistent starting pitchers in the entire organization starting with the Frederick Keys that have an ERA under 4.00 – Dylan Bundy and Tanner Scott. Scott is only being used in three-inning stints and his future is out of the bullpen. Bundy will be given extra days rest throughout the remainder of the season since this is his first full year as a starting pitcher in the big leagues.

It’s easy to blame Roger McDowell for this mess as he is the pitching coach. However, his resume speaks for itself. He knows what he is doing. I liken the Orioles pitching to the Ravens offense. It doesn’t matter the players or the coaches, the group overall will under perform which screams “organizational philosophy.” This falls on the shoulders of Dan Duquette and unfortunately with the regression of Kevin Gausman and Tillman, there isn’t enough depth to overcome key pitchers struggling and injuries.

It really is difficult to comprehend there being no pitchers in the minors that can help the big league team. I know Dave Wallace and Dom Chiti are being praised right now because of all the pitching issues this year, but I wonder if the loss of Rick Peterson should be getting more attention, especially with all of the struggles in the minor leagues.

Then again, maybe these pitchers just aren’t good – which brings us back to putting the blame on Duquette.


Outfielder Hays Promoted to Double-A

It may be hard to find any pitchers having a good season in the O’s organization, but at least there are a number of hitters putting up solid numbers. 21-year-old and 2016 third-round pick Austin Hays will now be playing for Bowie after hitting .328 with 16 home runs, 41 RBIs, 42 runs scored, four stolen bases and a very impressive .956 OPS in Frederick.

Hays has had a three-home run game this year and on June 18, the outfielder finished with five hits including two home runs and six RBIs. It will be fun seeing him play against better competition and roaming the same outfield as Cedric Mullins and former first-round pick D.J. Stewart. Hays’ now former teammate Ryan Mountcastle is probably close to a promotion as well as the shortstop is batting .313 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. The injury to J.J. Hardy pretty much signals this being his final season with the O’s as his player option won’t kick in so the organization desperately needs to find a replacement. The jury is still out on Mountcastle as a shortstop, but his bat is encouraging so far.

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Phil Backert. Bookmark the permalink.

About Phil Backert

Phil Backert
Phil Backert grew up in Rising Sun, Maryland loving the Orioles, Ravens, and Terps. After going away to college outside Philadelphia and playing baseball for four years, he moved back to Maryland, and currently resides in White Marsh. Phil interned with Sports Talk 1570AM, WNST during college which eventually led...more

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