Tap-In Question: What are your thoughts on the Orioles’ rotation for this key weekend series? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: What are your thoughts on the Orioles’ rotation for this key weekend series?


You don’t have to wipe that smile off your face or remove your Ubaldo Jimenez jersey today, but when you come up to the fake bar, take off your O’s beanie and replace it with a faux manager’s cap.

You’re building me a rotation for this weekend.

Let’s put this in perspective first.

When Orioles manager Buck Showalter was forced to put Jimenez back into the starting rotation in late August, you cringed.

Then Jimenez helped stabilize the rotation by being Good Ubaldo – Really Good Ubaldo – consistently.

When Showalter chose to pitch lefty Wade Miley on Sunday, Sept. 18 against the Tampa Bay Rays following another disastrous outing, you harrumphed (your barkeep did, too).

And all Miley has done since is allow one run in his last 12 2/3 innings.

So now we’re at that, ‘What are you thinking?’ crossroads again.

Although it’s not “written in blood,” as Showalter likes to say, it looks like the rotation for the final series of the regular season at Yankee Stadium will be Yovani Gallardo on Friday night, Miley on Saturday and most likely Kevin Gausman in the season finale Sunday, assuming that game means something to the Wild Card race.


The thought, one would assume, is that the Orioles have to plan for a potential Tuesday wild-card playoff (which would likely be Chris Tillman’s start) and a possible 163rd game/postseason play-in Monday, which could be Tillman or rookie Dylan Bundy.

Based on how Gausman has fared versus the Yankees (5-3, 1.87 ERA in 16 games) and at Yankee Stadium (2-2, 2.36 ERA in eight games), you’d think he would get that Sunday assignment if it’s a do-or-die scenario.

With the crucial, top AL Wild Card spot there for the taking, that’s what you have to do: Put your best chance at winning out on the field every day.

And that brings us to this final weekend, and the absence of Bundy in the rotation (he’d go to the bullpen).

Gallardo isn’t flashy, but he’s been fairly steady in his career. He also is 1-2 with an 8.16 ERA in three starts at Yankee Stadium.

Miley has pitched exceptionally well in his last two outings, but he has never beaten the Yankees in six starts and has a 4.76 ERA in three games in the Bronx.

Bundy allowed four runs in a five-inning outing in his lone start in New York, and he has pitched more innings this season than in any other in his pro career. He also has a 5.11 ERA in five September starts (but a 3-1 record in those games).

Given his age and lack of innings as a pro in the previous three seasons, I wasn’t a fan of starting Bundy at all this year. But I don’t pull the rotation plug on him now. I think he is the best the Orioles have to offer this weekend besides Gausman.

I’d probably go with Bundy on Friday, Miley on Saturday and Gausman on Sunday – skipping Gallardo for now.

But Showalter certainly has made the right moves this summer while I would have kept Bundy in the bullpen in July, not given Jimenez another starting chance in August and not given Miley another turn in September.

Yep, my track record hasn’t been good here. So you can set me straight.

Tap-In Question: What are your thoughts on the Orioles’ rotation for this key weekend series?



  1. Os fan in Detroit

    September 30, 2016 at 7:17 am

    I would start Gallardo, Miley and Gausman, keeping Bundy in the pen. First sign of trouble Worley is the long man. Don
    t get me wrong, I love seeing Bundy on the hill but imagine how lights out the pen would be adding Bundy with ODay, Givens, Brach and “Cy Young award winning” Britton. This would also help limit Bundys innings and keep him fresh for possible play off starts.

    Nothing wrong with a fake beer before 730, after all it is Friday!

    • Dan Connolly

      September 30, 2016 at 10:14 am

      You got it. 5 o’clock somewhere.

      • marcshank

        September 30, 2016 at 5:17 pm

        Frankly, Gallardo scares me, but I agree with you in that “first sign of trouble,” go with Worley or even Bundy. Gallardo’s record in NY is utterly abysmal. I have more confidence in Miley, even though his record isn’t so hot either. I don’t think we have any choice but to start Gallardo under those conditions.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 30, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Rotation schmotation, my only thought on this is … Please Buck, don’t let Gallardo anywhere near the mound this weekend! Only bad stuff happens when your fastball is comparable to Danny Almonte’s.

    Dan, I concur with your suggestion of Bundy on Friday, Miley on Saturday and Gausman on Sunday. But I’d also add that it might be wise to sign Almonte as insurance for the possible play in game on Monday.

    Seriously, I’m sure whatever Buck decides will be what’s best for the team. Buck knows pitching. It’s his lineups I question. I’m just going to kick back this weekend, watch some ORIOLES BASEBALL (ignoring Sunday’s early slate of football) and have a Corona or two in celebration of Ubaldo’s renaissance!

    Hey … speaking of Corona … did someone say “fake” bar? What the heck?!? Does than make the beer fake as well? You’re telling me that I’ve been drinking FAKE beer all summer? C’mon boys, I’m heading over to Pickle’s! hic

    • Dan Connolly

      September 30, 2016 at 10:15 am

      It’s all real in our minds, Boogster.

  3. Creatively_19

    September 30, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Natty Boh please, barkeep! Keep them coming, I’ll need them to get through this weekend.

    As manager I wouldn’t start Gallardo, and I’m not even convinced he makes the playoff roster at this point. We’re not just playing for the wild card at this point, we’re playing for home field advantage in the wild card game. As manager, I’m doing a rain dance and hoping for a postponement today so I can skip Gallardo’s turn in the rotation. Then I’m fine with Miley and Gausman pitching Saturday and Sunday.

    Also, is it too late to bring up anybody who’s been working out at Sarasota? We might need to pitch a bullpen game starting in the 2nd inning if any one of these guys gets off to a bad start. All three games need to be In the WIN Column.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 30, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Not too late. They actually can still make the postseason roster too assuming they were in the organization before Sept 1

  4. Bancells Moustache

    September 30, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Yeah, I have no idea. I’ve thrown in the towel on analyzing this season. We’ve just seen the guy who got booed on the Orange Carpet in April save the entire season with one swing of the bat, followed immediately by the guy everyone has wanted released for the last year and half pitching like a first ballot Hall of Famer. At this point if Gary Thorne came out of the booth and threw a 3 hit shutout I’m not sure I’d be surprised.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 30, 2016 at 8:51 am

      I’ve heard that Gary does have a nasty eephus.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 30, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Let’s keep Gary’s eephus out of this.

  5. Calvin95

    September 30, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Buck has got us this far I’m sure he’s got a plan I’m done trying to figure this team out. Hopefully the weather is good and O’s can play some winning baseball.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 30, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Heading to NYC now. I’m just hoping these three games get in. Or the hat is gonna be passed at the bar to keep me in Gotham another night.

  6. DPG0124

    September 30, 2016 at 10:21 am

    I’m fine with the rotation for this weekend, but Buck needs to have a quick hook. Don’t try to squeeze 5 or 6 innings out of Gallardo or Miley this weekend – the games are too important to let get of hand. Also, if the O’s are lucky enough to reach the Division Series keep them as far away from starting as possible

    • Dan Connolly

      September 30, 2016 at 11:25 am

      I’d concur with the hook. Especially w Worley/Wilson/Wright in pen.

  7. Tiss

    September 30, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    I like the idea of letting Gallardo nowhere near a mound. Buck’s announced him as the starter for tonight. Think this means someone somewhere is more worried about Bundy’s innings than they are letting on? In addition, for Sunday hits you can make your decision based on the results from tonight and Saturday. If Sunday doesn’t matter, I let someone else pitch then and save Gaus for game 1 of the ALDS hoping we win the WC game.

  8. OrangeOctober

    September 30, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I would’ve rather seen Bundy over Gallardo, but it looks like Yovani is going to be tonight’s starter. Let’s hope he’s solid and the O’s can pull out another W. The weather might make everything even crazier this weekend though. There’s a good chance of rain in Boston and New York for much of the weekend. I’d like to see Ubaldo start the Wild Card game, especially if it’s against Toronto. He has great numbers against them in his career.

    Some of their key hitters career numbers vs Cybaldo:

    Bautista: 3-38 (.079/.222/.105)
    Donaldson: 5-28 (.179/.250/.393)
    Encarnacion: 9-41 (.220/.360/.366)
    Tulowitzki: 1-11 (.091/.167/.091)

    • Steve Cockey

      September 30, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      Great point here, Orange. I’d be shocked if Buck doesn’t give the WC game to Tillman, but I’m intrigued by Ubaldo too (as unreal as it is to say). Would be his regular turn too, assuming it still gets played on Tuesday.

      • marcshank

        September 30, 2016 at 5:51 pm

        Frankly, Gallardo scares me, but I agree with you in that “first sign of trouble,” go with Worley or even Bundy. Gallardo’s record in NY is utterly abysmal. I have more confidence in Miley, even though his record isn’t so hot either. I don’t think we have any choice but to start Gallardo under those conditions.

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