Jeremy Guthrie - Our opening day starter, he was the only starter we had who had had major league success. On Opening Day, he gave us an alright taste of what was to come: a six-inning, three-run quality start. As Oriole fans, we appreciate quality starts more than most, but sometimes you want to expect more from certain guys. And there lies the heart of the Guthrie "issue" - he is not gonna be a number one pitcher. The popular line was "he's not an ace. He's OUR ace." Anyway, Opening Day told us to be happy with a quality start. We were way too quick in demanding that 7th or 8th inning.
Halfway through the year, Guthrie is not our best pitcher. And that is a good thing. Because Guts has only been serviceable so far. He struggled in June, with an ERA of 5.76 for the month, He has allowed 20 homeruns, where most of his problems lie. When he allows baserunners, they get to trot in. When he doesn't, the home runs are generally solo shots. What I find troubling is that Guthrie has only managed 9 quality starts through 18 attempts this year. He can do better. Last year he was 19 for 30.
So what to make of it? And which Guthrie do we see in the second half? This will probably be one of the more compelling situations to watch. Let's just keep in mind that it is a BAD thing if a number three guy is your best pitcher and a GOOD thing when Guthrie takes his rightful place in the rotation (because that means that better pitchers are taking up the spots ahead of him). I think he's going to work it out and finish with an ERA in the low 4s. I just wish some people were not so harsh on him. I think he's pretty awesome, and has a place on this team for the next five years.
For 18 games, all started, he has gone 6-8 with a 5.35 ERA. He has a 1.82 K/BB rate, which is a tad down from the 2.03 he has averaged over the past six years.