Myriad Orioles Thoughts: A cratering defense; Alex Cobb's mulligan; Tillman's struggles - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Myriad Orioles Thoughts: A cratering defense; Alex Cobb’s mulligan; Tillman’s struggles

Photo credit: Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

You know things are going badly for the Orioles (5-11) when you can’t pinpoint exactly which aspect of the team’s game is most concerning: the offense, the starting pitching or the defense.

At this exact moment, I think I’m leaning toward the defense.

Yes, I know the offense has scored three runs or fewer in 11 of its 16 games this season. The Orioles are 1-10 in those contests (that lone win coming on Opening Day) and 4-1 when they score five or more. (Strangely, they haven’t scored four runs in a game yet this season.)

The offense is so one-dimensional that it’s a stretch to see it being consistently good for weeks at a time. But I guess I’m less concerned about the lineup because this feast-or-famine approach has been the norm, even when the Orioles have had success recently.

The starting rotation will remain a concern until there’s a better feel for how each starting pitcher is progressing. Obviously, Alex Cobb’s first Orioles’ performance was disappointing (more on that below) and Chris Tillman’s continued regression is flat-out disturbing (more on that, too, below).

But I think the general sense is that this rotation, even with plenty of question marks, simply has to be better than the 2017 version. And Dylan Bundy is certainly doing his part to make sure the overall numbers will be better than last year’s franchise worst 5.70 rotation ERA.

That leaves the defense, which was the hallmark (along with a stout bullpen) of manager Buck Showalter’s playoff clubs.

For all the complaints about first baseman Chris Davis’ woeful offense, the argument can be made that Davis is currently the best defensive player the Orioles have in a set position. Catcher Caleb Joseph deserves to be in that conversation and so does center fielder Adam Jones, even though defensive metrics haven’t been kind to him for years.

But Manny Machado will have his growing pains at shortstop and the same goes with Tim Beckham at third base. And now, with Jonathan Schoop on the disabled list, Beckham has been moved to second base, a position he played toward the end of his time with Tampa Bay last year, and Danny Valencia is manning third base.

On Sunday, Valencia made one key error in misfielding a grounder and could have been charged with a second one on an erratic throw that was ultimately ruled a hit. Davis saved Valencia further ignominy by digging out another short-hopper.

When the Orioles signed Valencia in March, executive vice president Dan Duquette made it clear the veteran was being added because of a bat that blistered left-handed pitching. When I asked Duquette whether he thought Valencia could play third base for an extended period if necessary, Duquette hesitated and then said he thought Valencia could be adequate.

And maybe he will be, especially if Schoop returns within the minimum 10 days from a mild oblique strain.

The problem here is that the offense isn’t clicking and there’s always a fear that the rotation could timebomb at any moment. But that’s par for the Orioles’ course.

If the defense continues to crater – and there are a whole lot of defenders playing in spots that aren’t natural or in which they are re-learning – it can’t make up for deficiencies elsewhere, like the rock-solid defense did from 2012 to 2016.

Worse, the defense might end up causing more problems than it fixes, and that will drive Showalter – and the fans — bonkers.

Thoughts about Cobb, and tempering fears for now

There’s probably not much to say about right-hander Alex Cobb’s debut as an Oriole on Saturday.

The bright side: It’s in the rearview mirror.

The likely bright side: It should only get better.

The reality: It was ugly, pretty much as ugly as it gets, as far as anticipated debuts go.

Cobb didn’t get through the fourth. He allowed eight runs (seven earned), 10 hits, including two homers, and a walk.

He faced 21 batters and got behind 12 of them before throwing a strike.

That’s not a good recipe anywhere, and especially not in the unforgiving American League East. The Orioles were in a 3-0 hole by the end of the first, 4-0 by the end of the third and 8-0 by the end of the fourth.

What that’s a recipe for is the 2017 Orioles, a club that was always behind, especially in games started by Ubaldo Jimenez and Wade Miley.

Cobb was brought in to erase those bad memories, and the Orioles did that while forking out a record four-year, $57 million deal for the former Tampa Bay Ray. That contract topped the previous franchise record for a free-agent pitcher set by, gulp, Jimenez in 2014.

I can’t tell you for certain that the contract’s length and lofty price tag will be the only similarities between Cobb and Jimenez. My crystal ball cracked years ago.

But I will tell you that Cobb, when healthy, has been a consistently good major league pitcher. And you have to assume that will be the case in Baltimore.

So, call it one bad start and move on.

I truly believe that’s what it was.

Then again, I also thought Jimenez would have a solid walk year in 2017.

The Tillman dilemma continues

I wish I could have the same confidence in Chris Tillman, who lasted just two-plus innings on Friday in Boston and is now 0-3 with a 11.91 ERA in three 2018 starts. He’s allowed 22 hits and 10 walks in 11 1/3 innings. Statistically speaking, he’s actually been worse at the start of this year than in his disaster of 2017, when he was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 24 games.

I gave Tillman a mulligan for 2017 because a shoulder injury cost him his regular offseason routine and a normal spring training. Like most starters, Tillman is a creature of habit.

I also lobbied repeatedly for the Orioles to re-sign the right-hander who turned 30 on Sunday, thinking they could get him for a bargain. They secured his services in February for less than even I had imagined, an incentive-laden deal worth $3 million guaranteed.

My whole reasoning for pushing for re-signing Tillman is that I know his character and work ethic. I’ve seen him with his back against the wall before and he always returned fighting. It was worth the risk, I figured, to bet on Tillman.

Well, the fight and the will remain, but there’s been so much wrong with his arsenal these first three starts that I’m wondering about the validity of my offseason argument. I thought there might have been some bright spots to build on in Tillman’s outing against New York, but they vanished in Boston.

He’s no longer hitting in the 90s consistently with his fastball and his command, which has rarely been pinpoint in his career, is really shaky right now.

The optimist in me says that it’s still early; three outings is 10 percent of a full season for a starter, which is an awfully small sample size. Plus, Tillman has had to face three of the most brutal lineups in baseball in the Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

But two of those are division rivals he’ll see several more times this season. And all major league offenses are going to thrive if a pitcher misses his spots continually.

The realist in me says the Orioles can’t afford to keep giving starts to a guy who routinely puts them in a hole and taxes the bullpen, no matter how much they like him personally or how much he’s meant to the franchise over the past few years. Especially given that this has been an extension of last year’s futility.

It’s a result-driven business, and Tillman hasn’t had many good ones for well over a year now. Many fans and social media skippers think the plug should have been pulled in 2017. That sentiment is growing in merit.

Tillman, of course, gets it. He’s always been team-first, and he knows he’s not helping his team on the field.

So how long do they keep giving him the ball every fifth day without solid results?

I don’t know for sure.

Showalter has built a reputation for being loyal to his veterans, but I can’t imagine this will last much longer at the manner in which it has been going.

This appears to be the ultimate, back-to-the-wall situation for the Orioles and Tillman.

He needs to really come out swinging soon, assuming it’s not too late for one more bout.

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59 Comments

59 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    April 16, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Buck up campers! Why so gloomy? We have another 146 of these to play and it ain’t over until Buck says it’s over! Wait until the warm weather get here, then the boys will start bashing. Crush will surely find his way and it’s only a matter of time until Schoop & Zack return. The staff will surely right itself eventually … right … RIGHT?

    Who the hell am I kidding here? The sky is falling. It’s time to eat the Davis contract and let the Machado sweekstakes commence! I need a fake beer.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 8:34 am

      Hahahaha. Lots of emotion in that one, Boog. A 5-11 skid is bad, but it always looks worse at this time of year. But there are a whole lot of disconcerting signs.

  2. LenSakata

    April 16, 2018 at 7:43 am

    I think it would be easier to write about what is going right. Bundy, Blier , Cashner and Mancini. Is there anyone else?

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 8:35 am

      A few. A few.

    • jkneps63

      April 16, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      Manny has a career high OBP of 0.392 (it’s a contract year eh?). That should help boost what the O’s get in return for him when they trade him later this season.

  3. Eldersburg Enigma

    April 16, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Glad to read someone knocking the defense. It’s been really poor. The starting pitching is the second least of this team’s concerns, ranking just below the bullpen.

    It all goes back to poor roster construction, seemingly stemming from a too-late decision to “go for it” this year.

    As I said before, this could go two ways: either the team is a surprise wild card contender in July, or there are plenty of pieces to sell off for prospects.

    Unexpectedly, though, the team has four MLB quality starting pitchers under long-term control so they are in position to trade Manny, Schoop, Jones, Brach, Britton, Valencia, and whoever else a contender wants for the best package(s) regardless of position.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 8:36 am

      All true. One thing to remember though is Jones can veto any trades by being a 10-5. He’s earned that right. Everyone else you mentioned can’t. Just an FYI for all.

  4. Osfan73

    April 16, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Not worried about Cobb, signed late and had almost no spring training.
    Release Tillman and watch him come back in 2 years master of the knuckleball.

  5. JParsley

    April 16, 2018 at 9:11 am

    I have been saying for years the O’s need more speed and better outfield D. Also, I think they got a good deal when they signed Tillman this year, but it doesn’t seem like it will work out. Give him a couple more tries then let him go, maybe a change of scenery or a different pitching coach could help him get back to having success. which reminds me, McDowell need to go too

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Not sure any of this is McDowell’s fault. You’re just waiting for the light to go on for Tillman. Because we’ve seen it before.

    • JParsley

      April 16, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Before McDowell took over Tillman was doing good, now not so much. Team ERA should be a factor when looking at a pitching coach’s success and pitchers ability to get through tough times should also play a role. McDowell hasn’t proved that he can improve the staff. There is a couple of exceptions but not nearly enough.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      He inherited Miley, Ubaldo and a Tillman who wasn’t himself. Give McDowell a little time. Who knows? But that’s a knee-jerk reaction imo

  6. gtiern

    April 16, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Wasn’t Cobb supposed to get more time to get ready for his first start? I don’t even think he pitched enough innings in his spring training or minor league games, so Rushing him up to the stop the losing was a good idea? Something is wrong in Tillman’s mechanics and putting him on the mound every 5 days hoping it will just click is not helping the ball club.
    Why is Davis not down in the minor’s learning to hit? Cuz we pay him a bunch of money shouldn’t be the excuse to let him watch 3rd strikes 2 and 3 times a game. Get him in the cage against live pitching. Not talking BP, I mean real live arms throwing the stuff he cant hit. The more he sees it the less he will do it in games where it counts.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Cobb went 6 in extended. He was deemed ready. Davis can’t be sent to the minors without his permission. They have to release him and eat $110 million or so left. And going to the minors likely won’t help a guy like him. There are few pitchers in the minors that provide the challenge the major league ones do.

      • gtiern

        April 16, 2018 at 11:09 am

        If Davis cant hit or swing the bat at the pro level, the minors are the place for him. Or sit and eat it, cuz no one would trade for a guy that has no bat. But putting him out there to stand and be an out at the plate over and over again is the definition of insanity if you don’t take the steps to correct it.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      Again. He won’t be doing the minors (unless there is an injury rehab). So you want to eat $115 million? OK. Good luck suggesting that.

  7. Orial

    April 16, 2018 at 9:17 am

    What would it take for Buck to go to Manny,tell him he needs him temporarily back at 3rd,Beckham back at SS,and Vielma at 2nd? I guess Castro isn’t a consideration as 5th starter anymore?

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 9:47 am

      More defensive struggles for an extended time. Schoop likely won’t be out long.

      • Bancells Moustache

        April 16, 2018 at 10:24 am

        You know it’s getting bad when someone named Englelb Vielma is the savior.

        • Jbigle1

          April 16, 2018 at 3:33 pm

          You know it’s bad when you’d give your left…. to bring flash back. Watching Valencia botch 3rd makes me believe I have undervalued ol Flash.

  8. DiamondJim

    April 16, 2018 at 9:24 am

    I agree with DC . The defense is the worry. And with a starting staff that is trying to get its feet on the ground, a suspect defense is not a good thing. And now the Schoop injury will only magnify the issue. Personally, I think the O’s weakened the defense by moving Manny away from 3rd and we’re seeing that now with his hiccups at SS and the tentative play by Beckham at 3rd. And what was the motivation to accommodate Manny’s wishes to move to SS in this final year, presumably, with the O’s? Wouldn’t it have been better to pursue a good defensive SS in the off-season and keep Manny at 3rd this year, where he is often mentioned in the same conversation with the best 3rd sacker ever, i.e., Brooks? But Dan is right. The offense will come around ( such that it is ) and Cashner & Cobb will add to the Bundy & Gausman duo to give us a solid starting rotation ( with Castro ultimately being the 5th starter ). But the concern will continue to be the defense.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Well, Machado’s stock grows for him and in trade if he plays multiple spots well.

  9. The Wedge

    April 16, 2018 at 9:36 am

    It’s April 15th. Lot of ball yet to be played.

    We’ve had, perhaps inarguably, the toughest schedule to open these first couple of weeks. Things will let up soon, likely beginning tomorrow at Comerica.

    Cobb will bounce back in a big way.

    The defense will find their footing once they become (re)adjusted to their new (old) positions.

    Tilly is indeed a warrior and I’ve just got to think he’ll pull it together for a nice 3, 4-start stretch and validate Buck’s confidence in him.

    The track record tells me all these things.

    Jon’s injury is a bit of a speed bump, but like they say, next man up. I think Beckham will be more than serviceable holding the fort until Jon returns. And Danny V will hit as always, and I’m hopeful that being at 3rd semi regularly will improve the glove somewhat.

    Caleb will not bat <.100 all season. Crush will not bat <.150 all season. Again, track record(s).

    All in all, not trying to come off as Al E. Newman, but….that’s kind of where I am. If we’re still at this point a couple months from now, then I’ll start to wonder what’s going on.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 9:50 am

      Those are all reasonable scenarios. Perhaps optimistic but reasonable.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      April 16, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Wedge, I more than love your optimism, but I have one issue with your statement.
      Crush may not hit less than .150 for the year, but I’ve got one of Dan’s drink chips that says he goe for less than .200 this year with .150 not outside the realm of possibility. Dan keeps stating that the O’s can’t afford to eat his $110 million, but I contend that that’s exactly what they are already doing, like it or not.

      This guy just plain stinks and can’t hit the side of a barn anymore while the track record shows no improvement in sight.

      • Jbigle1

        April 17, 2018 at 2:49 am

        If we had a sure fire better option than Davis maybe it’d be a little easier to eat that money. He still does play a solid 1B despite his offensive inepetitude. I can’t imagine the orioles FO could stomach eating half that money. Like it or not he’ll be hanging around. Santander or Valencia aren’t much better right now and they’re the significantly lower paid alternatives. Unfortunately money talks and Davis will have EVERY opportunity to turn his season around. Maybe when Trumbo comes back you can make the argument Davis belongs on the bench. Have Trumbo or Mancini cover 1B and let Alvarez be our DH. It’s a shame we’re paying $109 million more for a guy who can’t hit as well as Pedro Alvarez but… .

  10. bickel57

    April 16, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Cobb never had a spring training. When he was getting ready he never pitched in a real game. So that game was his spring training game. So hopefully in another game or two he will be back to his old self. Tillman is another story. I feel he won’t be getting any better. That injury made him a shell of best year. He has lost it and won’t be getting it back. It is time to move on and start giving some of the younger pitchers auditions. This offense first mentality has to stop. Hopefully when Duquette goes he will take it with you. We need to find a third baseman and let Beckham be come a utility player.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 11:42 am

      It’s hard for me to say he won’t get it back. He’s had troubles before and bounced back. But you are right, there has been no indication he will get it back.

    • Jbigle1

      April 17, 2018 at 2:55 am

      Agreed on TB. I’ve been saying that on here. Once machado said he wanted to be a SS, the orioles should’ve been in the market for a 3B. There were plenty of signs last season that TB would regress a good bit this year. At SS it’s easier to stomach the batting line but you can’t take that at 3rd. Hell , you can’t take his current production at short either but we’ll assume that’ll go up eventually. Moose, Frazier, Neil Walker all would’ve been good additions. Too late now but that’s where we should’ve been.

  11. c Soprano

    April 16, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Looks like a team that should have embraced a rebuild after Buck left ZB in the bullpen and went with U to face the heart of the Toronto batting order. Oriole fans should know exactly what is going on here, patch work. It didn’t work before and it won’t work this time.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 11:43 am

      Spending $73 million on two pitchers isn’t exactly patchwork.

  12. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    April 16, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I dont see Tillman turning it around. Besides command issues, there is little difference in velocity between his fastball and other pitches. This has been pointed out here before. Mlb hitters can easily adjust resulting in big innings.

    I am not worried about Cobb. He has a consistent delivery and didnt have a full ST. Our offense is terrible only a few players are hitting. I think Gentry needs to play more over Santander. He has more speed and is a better defender. Beckham needs to stay at 3rd and use a utility player from the 40 man roster to fill in for Schoop.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Vielma is up. So they could go that route if they wanted

  13. Bancells Moustache

    April 16, 2018 at 10:16 am

    MLB RECORD FOR STRIKEOUTS IN A SEASON: 1535 -Houston Astros, 2013 (Final Record 51-111 )

    ORIOLES CURRENT PACE: 1792 (177 in 16 games, 11.062 per game)

    Macho whiff numbers from our boys this weekend, 35 K’s in 3 games. Not surprising though, as they were facing Eduardo Rodriguez and Hector Velasquez whom, I’m sure we can all agree, are lock first ballot Hall of Famers who make Bob Feller look like a Bob Uecker. Particularly impressive has been Tim Beckham and his 24 Ks. It’s not often you see a man with more fans in his stat-line than there are sitting in the upper deck at Camden Yards. I had reason to fear the upcoming Tiger series, since they don’t have pitching of the caliber of those two titans mentioned above, but fear not Birdland. Nothing helps a team that can’t hit in the cold quite like a mid-April trip to DETROIT.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 11:47 am

      Should be balmy.

    • jkneps63

      April 16, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      Loving the MLB Strikeout Record watch posts…

      Gregg Ritchie for Orioles hitting coach!!!

  14. Dblack2508

    April 16, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Agreed on Cobb, pitches were high in the strike zone, defense is the worst I have seen since Mark Reynolds was playing third, the biggest issue for me is the lack of on base. Manny is going to have to move back to third base.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 11:48 am

      Yeah. But that OBP is constant here.

  15. jkneps63

    April 16, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Two thoughts/suggestions:

    1. Release Tillman, bring up Hess
    2. Why not bring up Corban Joseph to play 2B and move Beckham back to 3B? Corban has decent offensive numbers and maybe his presence will inspire brother Caleb to do better at the plate. Corban has spent lots of time at AAA.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Corban Joseph is not considered a particularly strong defender around the diamond. I think they’d rather have a better defender if they are filling 2B.

      • jkneps63

        April 16, 2018 at 2:07 pm

        Fielding percentage has basically no correlation to winning percentage. I know you can point to a game like yesterday’s 3-1 loss and say it was the defense’s fault, but I say “No!” score four runs and no one is talking about the two unearned runs.

        Again, it is a mathematical fact that fielding percentage has basically no correlation to winning percentage. WHIP has the highest correlation to winning percentage and on offense OBP.

        Corban’s field percentage at 2B is 0.969 and his OBP is 0.345.
        Vielma 0.976 / 0.316
        Valencia 0.943 @ 3B / 0.343

        • Jbigle1

          April 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm

          And fielding percentage isn’t the way Mlb Front offices use to evaluate defensive capabilities anymore. Hasn’t been for a long time. Range, arm strength, etc. is what is going to be looked at. Joseph also doesn’t have a 40 man spot. I wouldn’t bet on him being able to hit in the majors either. Odds are he’d be a better hitter than Vielma but that’s far from being competent.

          • jkneps63

            April 16, 2018 at 7:55 pm

            Agree to disagree on Joseph not being a significant plus at the plate over both Vielma and Valencia.

            So do you not want the better of the three?

            I am off to look at range vs winning pct…

          • jkneps63

            April 16, 2018 at 8:19 pm

            Team DER (seems somewhat similar to Range) vs Win Pct for 2017 returns a negative adjusted R-squared; no correlation between defense efficiency rating and winning percentage.

            I hate to pop everyone’s “defense wins games” balloons but POP POP POP! Low WHIP and high OBP wins games, defensive efficiency and fielding percentage are pretty much non-factors.

            I don’t think dropping Vielma off the 40 man roster to Corban Joseph on it is going to hurt the Orioles.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      Bottom line is you need to be able to do it all. Or most anyway to have a lengthy MLB career (unless you do one thing ludicrously well). Joseph may be a victim of circumstance but if he excelled at one aspect he’d have been given more chances.

      • jkneps63

        April 16, 2018 at 7:57 pm

        I think Corban is a better option than either Vielma and Valencia at this point, especially if he can give Caleb a little boost, then you get a two for one deal.

        I need to win the Power Ball, put it all on red four times, buy my own MLB team and implement my strategy…

        • Jbigle1

          April 17, 2018 at 12:15 am

          Joseph can’t play SS. Vielma covers the MIF. Typically that’s what utitility infielders do. We have Beckham who can be shifted around but to say Joseph would be a better ML hitter than Valencia is a stretch. Sure, he has some alright minor league numbers but he never really flashed much power or speed. Doesn’t play defense particularly well. There’s a reason he’s 28 years old and doesn’t have more than a handful of ML abs. Valencia is a major league hitter, despite his obvious deficiencies while playing 3B. Is Joseph better? Idk but I doubt it. Defense 100% has value though. You can’t sit here and say it does not. A pitchers WHIP and a hitters OBP are certainly influenced by the defenders playing for or against them to some degree.

  16. JoeFundo

    April 16, 2018 at 11:38 am

    I asked over the winter that the O’s trade Alec Asher, Jay Flaa, Steven Klimek, Chris Lee, Jesus Liranzo, Manny Machado, Ryan Meisinger, Darren O’Day,and Mike Yastrzemski for varying reasons. Manny wants out AND wants to play SS which is disruptive to the team in both the short and long term. Darren has value and we’d save $9M this year and next. The other guys are clogging up the 40 man roster this year and/or next year.

    I asked that the O’s sign Alex Cobb and Mike Moustakas.

    I asked that the O’s trade for Matt Harvey so as to avoid the temptation to bring Chris Tillman back or put Mike Wright in the starting rotation.

    I asked that the O’s make a serious effort to extend Brad Brach, Zach Britton, Adam Jones, and Manny Machado over the winter. If the player does not wish to extend and stay, then they have to aggressively market the player.

    I asked that Dan Duquette sign(John Jay) or acquire (Almora, Blackmon?) a legitimate OBP leadoff hitter.

    I asked that Buck Showalter bat Adam Jones in the middle of the order (6th) for run production, Chris Davis at the bottom of the order (8th) because he is a hot mess.

    I asked that Wright, Ynoa, and Castro be long relievers because without multiple relievers who can give you innings your bullpen is in constant flux/disarray.

    C – Joseph & Sisco
    1B – Mancini
    2B – Schoop
    SS – Beckham
    3B – Moustakas
    LF – Santander
    CF – Jay
    RF – Jones
    DH – Trumbo & Davis
    UTIL IF – Flaherty
    UTIL OF – Gentry

    SP – Bundy, Cashner, Alex Cobb, Gausman, Matt Harvey,
    BP – Rule 5 pitcher, Bleier, Brach, Britton, Castro, Givens, Wright, Ynoa

    Jay 8
    Valencia/Sisco DH/2
    Schoop 4
    Mancini 3
    Moustakas 5
    Jones 9
    Santander
    Joseph/Davis 2/DH
    Beckham 6

    That’s 26 guys…always at least one on the DL nowadays.

    If only….

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 11:53 am

      There is a whole lot here, too much to address specifically. But generally speaking. Some good ideas and some things that had no shot of happening. (Mets, for instance, told teams they wouldn’t deal Harvey after initial discussion).

    • jkneps63

      April 16, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      So no Matt Harvey, why not try Bleier in the rotation? He started quite a bit in the minors as recently as 2016. He could start out as a five inning starter.

  17. TxBirdFan

    April 16, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Oriole starters need to stop allowing crooked numbers by the opposition so early in the game. That is the single most demoralizing problem for the team, players and fans. I can live with a 3-1 loss in a very watchable game. The previous 2 games were not watchable after a few innings. Cobb will turn it around. Not so sure about Tilly. Have the Orioles ever had a rotation starter with an ERA close to 12 runs per game?

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      Not for an extended period of time. But given what I’ve seen in my 18-year career, had to be in small samples. Multiples in fact.

  18. mlbbirdfan

    April 16, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    The Orioles brutal early schedule is the major factor in our bad start

    COMPARE:
    Philadelphia Phillies 8-1 string comes on the heels of a one-win and 4-loss start, when Philadelphia fans wanted their new manager fired after five games. A better test will come when the Phillies play better teams. The last 9 have been against three teams with a combined record of 9-36.

    Meanwhile, The Orioles have played five series, against five of the top teams in the American League, whose combined record is 46-24 or .657 pace.

    Major league baseball has never had a more pronounced have vs have-not dichotomy. In my humble opinion, the dichotomy is BAD for Baseball.

    It is clearly bad for the Orioles first 16 games! – MLB

  19. Mau

    April 16, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Need some O’s magic. May be the only thing that can help.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 16, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      Yeah. You just never know. Beauty of baseball.

  20. Birdman

    April 16, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Along with just about everyone else, I’m not worried about Cobb. He will be fine. and the starting rotation actually looks solid (except for the 5th starter). The fact that there are some who still seem to have faith in Tillman is pretty astounding. He was arguably the worst starting pitcher in MLB in 2017, and he surely must be the worst so far in 2018. Buck, please stop the madness.

  21. jkneps63

    April 19, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Mulligan eh? Looks like we are discovery why Cobb wasn’t signed for so long during the FA market…I anticipate a cynical and/or sarcastic reply!

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