Hey everybody, this is my first time posting. I just wanted to get my feet wet in posting before the season started and to introduce myself to the Camden Chat family. I have been reading for the last year or so and have really appreciated hearing others opinions on the birds, especially because they don't get much media attention up here in Lancaster, Pa. I have some brief thoughts about the O's rotation and staff.
With the slow progression of Duke throughout the spring I would have no problem bringing him out of the pen in a middle relief position, especially considering his spotty (at best) health over the past few years. In that situation I would slot Tillman in the 5th spot, following Guthrie, Matusz, Berggy, and Arrieta. I would keep Britton down in the minors, for the time being, unless there is significant injuries on the big league staff (ie. one of the starters and Duke go out for an extended period of time). Let Britton progress in Norfolk until the time is right, and easy him into pitching every 5 days in the majors. Maybe early June or so.
As far as the pen goes. I would carry 8, Gregg (cl), Uehara (set-up), Johnson, Duke, Gonzalez, Berken, Rapada, and Accardo. With 8 in the pen it would allow Duke to spot start if need be, or to eat necessary innings if a young starter gets into early trouble. I feel that giving the final spot in the rotation to Tillman and not Duke is the right way for the O's to get the most out of the pitchers that they have on the roster currently.