Tap-In: Who will be the Orioles' best 2016 starting pitcher? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In: Who will be the Orioles’ best 2016 starting pitcher?

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Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

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Get in here and slam the door behind you. It’s cold out there, but toasty in the Tap Room. We have coffee coming out of the taps today as well as brew. It just looks like another porter, so don’t be embarrassed.

After the initial games of this season, the most positive development – besides the nightly heroics of Joey Rickard – is that the Orioles’ rotation has held its own.

The group was much criticized coming into 2016, with questions surrounding the consistency of veterans Chris Tillman, Yovani Gallardo and Ubaldo Jimenez, the health of Kevin Gausman and the upside of Mike Wright, Vance Worley and Tyler Wilson.

Well, heading into Saturday’s frozen tundra experiment at Camden Yards, the Orioles starting rotation had acquitted itself well.

Tillman dominated in his brief, rain-shortened stint on Monday and was solid Friday; Gallardo was solid enough for a win Wednesday; and Jimenez was very impressive Thursday.

There are going to be some hiccups with this group; none of these guys has eye-popping stuff. But if they can be consistently solid and pass leads off to a stout bullpen, the Orioles chances of playing into the postseason improve dramatically.

So here’s what I was wondering: Which Orioles starter is going to have the best year in 2016? For me, it’s Tillman, Jimenez or Gausman. I don’t think Tillman’s shaky 2015 is indicative of the quality pitcher he is; I’ve always said I think Jimenez will have one All Star year during his four-year contract, which expires after 2017; and I expect Gausman to blossom with starts every fifth game.

But if I have to pick one to be the Orioles best pitcher – or de facto ace – this year, I am sticking with Tillman. I just think he is more like the guy he was in 2014 than the banged-up version we saw in 2015.

What do you think?

Tap-In question: Who will be the Orioles’ most effective starter in 2016? Why?

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. JohnBKistler

    April 10, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Irish coffee for me this morning. And I will go with Jimenez for the reason that…well no reason,really, other than he would be the least expected to do well and that is how it goes in this game. And he may also be THAT pitcher that gets all the runs.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 10, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Done. And Ubaldo certainly has the ability.

  2. 5brooks5

    April 10, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I,d like a strong black cup of Joe!! And I’m going with Gausman, I think he has the Best Stuff, and that it’s his time to shine,with the pressure on the Vets.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 10, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      My only concern is the shoulder woes spooked him a little last year and took a while for him to feel confident.

  3. MaxPower

    April 10, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Tillman is my choice too, primarily because he’s the only one in this bunch to top 200 IP recently (’13 & ’14). Ubaldo & Gallardo have been close several times, still they need to go deeper into games to notch the wins. With their bullpen though, don’t know Buck will necessarily take that chance too many times, unless they are brilliant that day.

    Then again it could be any one of the top four. The first three are very similar in their career numbers, Gausman is a major wildcard. If he can be healthy for an extended stretch he has the chance to pile up wins, especially if he’s consistently slotted against other team’s #3 or #4 guys.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 10, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      excellent analysis. Free fake drink chip your way.

  4. rebusgadfly

    April 10, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Gotta go with a strong coffee( black like the night, as Batman would say)

    In all fairness to the Orioles staff I don’t see a true ace emerging but that’s ok because we got a staff of “ballers” who are going to fight to the bitter end. All of them will pitch like they have something to prove and they have a chip on their shoulders. I’ll take a staff of gamers over an ace any day.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 10, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      That’s exactly why I said best pitcher and not ace. I agree. But so long as they are efficient and can get to the bullpen, that should do.

  5. maglorio2000

    April 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    My coffee Black with a little sweetness, please.
    This staff should surprise many. Toss up between Tillman and Ubaldo. Tillman because he wants it real bad. And Unaldo because he has something to prove after that first year. This is a well-balanced staff even without an ace.

  6. OsDent

    April 11, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Make mine black. No cream or sugar. I will take Tillman. Many in the media including you have stated Tilly was hurt last year. He appears healthy now and the ball looks good coming out of his hand. I predict an AS selection, 15 game winner and 200 innings.

  7. NYOsFan

    April 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I think it will be Kevin Gausman. I think the shoulder is a concern however I feel getting it taken care of now will hopefully make that problem go away. My reason for it being Kevin is he now knows his role is fully defined, every 5 days making a start. He said in an interview this offseason that last years Norfolk shuttle got in his head and you have to be focused to pitch well.

  8. giggs32

    April 13, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Hey Dan, have you ever had Port City Porter? If not, I highly recommend it. Good VA beer that is worth the buy. Tillman has to be the guy for me. Originally in spring training and in the off-season I said Gausman. But the shoulder problem combined with the lack of a third pitch that is any good at all, makes me think he is a #3 starter or great bullpen guy in the long term. Tillman has proven it before, he just needs to be more efficient and stay away from the middle of that Toronto order.

  9. LoganQuick

    April 15, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    If Kevin Gausman hits the ground running with a few solid starts after his stint on the DL, I feel like he’s the unanimous decision. He knows that this year is his time to shine and if he gets some early confidence built up, he’s going to be a bulldog on the mound all year long.

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