Going into this season, O's fans knew that the pitching would be bad. But most came to the conclusion there was at least one legitimate starter on this team, Jeremy Guthrie. Those O's fans, including myself, were wrong.
After 9 starts, Guthrie is 3-4 with a 5.37 ERA. When Guthrie struggles, the long ball is primarily to blame. He has given up 14 HRs through the first month and a half this season. Last year, he gave up 24 over the course of the entire season.
In addition to the long ball, Guthrie struggles putting batters away. This can be attributed to the fact that he lacks an out pitch. The Orioles former ace, Erik Bedard lived and died on his nasty curveball. Guthrie has a decent array of quality pitches but he does not have that signature strikeout or out pitch that most major league aces weild.
Since injuring his shoulder last August, Jeremy has not been able to regain the consistency and reliability he showed during the bulk of 2007 and 2008. Guthrie does not maintain the ability to stop, or at the least, mend the bleeding by the Orioles pitching staff, the primary objective of the staff ace.
Jeremy Guthrie's work ethic and effort should work in his favor as the season continues. Whether you like it or not, Guthrie will remain the ace because he's the best we got. The only other candidate to fill Jeremy's role as the ace is Koji Uehara. The 34-year-old rookie is the most consistent and reliable starter on the team. However, he has not played in the majors long enough to earn such a prestigous role.
Regardless of what we call Guthrie, he is going to have to turn it around in order for this team to stay afloat before the prospect levees break and the bevvy of young pitching talent floods Camden Yards.
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