Baltimore Orioles 25-man roster: The pitchers

Rick Adair is always there for a hug if you need it. - Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Here are the pitchers for your 2013 Baltimore Orioles.

Starting Rotation

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Tom Szczerbowski- USA TODAY Sports

Jason Hammel - RHP
2012: 20 GS, 118 IP, 3.43 ERA/3.29 FIP
Career: 189 G/135 GS, 850 IP, 4.78 ERA/4.23 FIP

Jason Hammel's very good 2012 has been widely attributed to the increased use of his two-seam fastball and nearly everyone who watched him pitch in 2012 believed that his change in repertoire was most definitely the reason for his improved performance. When he was on the field last year he was definitely the best pitcher in the rotation, he just had trouble staying on the field. He twice missed time during the season with an injured knee, but by all accounts has been healthy throughout spring training. If Hammel can stay healthy and make over 30 starts for the Orioles in 2013, it'll be that much easier for the team to stay in contention.

Twitter: Hammel isn't on Twitter, but you can check out his brother @Bill_Hammel. He'll favorite anything nice you say about his brother Jason.

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Patrick McDermott - Getty Images

2012: 32 GS, 192 2/3 IP, 4.02 ERA/4.42 FIP

While Hammel was the best performing pitcher in last season's starting rotation, Chen was the most reliable. His 32 starts were 12 more than the next highest number of starts on the team. Not bad for a rookie. He did fade down the stretch, but rebounded nicely when given extra rest at the end of the year. His most memorable start was in game two of the ALDS when he pitched into the seventh inning against the Yankees, giving up just two runs, one earned.

Chen is a fly ball pitcher and as such had a bit of trouble with the home run last year, giving up 1.4 HR/9 innings. But when he's on, it's routine fly ball after lazy fly ball. Hopefully we'll see a lot of that this season.

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Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Gonzalez - RHP
2012: 18 G/15 GS, 105 1/3 IP, 3.25 ERA/4.38 FIP

Was there a better story in 2012 than Miguel Gonzalez? If so it's hard to imagine. From his first start when he wore friend Nick Adenhart's glove to his brilliant performance against the Yankees in the playoffs, it was truly a magical season for our MiGo. But can he repeat?

The common sense thinking of it all is that he probably cannot. Given his history and his age before he even made it to the majors, people will say that it's a fluke. But maybe he learned a few things with the Orioles and will just be a late bloomer.

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2012: 15 GS, 86 IP, 2.93 ERA/4.25 FIP
Career: 51 GS, 266 2/3 IP, 4.73 ERA/4.97 FIP

After starting the season in AAA in 2012, Tillman performed very well after being called up in July. Despite less than great peripheral stats, Tillman got the job done time and again in the second half of the season. He's another wild card in this rotation. Will he pitch like the Chris Tillman last year, or more like the one over the last several seasons? It's hard to believe that Tillman is just 25 years old; it feels as though he's been around for a long time.

Technically, Tillman is starting the season on the disabled list, but he will be called up for Saturday's game so he won't even miss a turn in the rotation.

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2012: 24 G/18 GS, 114 2/3 IP, 6.20 ERA/4.05 FIP
Career: 64 G/58 GS, 334 1/3 IP, 5.33 ERA/4.73 FIP

Jake Arrieta had a rough go of things in 2012. He started the season in the rotation, but was taken out of the rotation at the end of June and demoted to the minor leagues not long after. He's a pitcher who has always been frustrating to watch, at least for me, because he seems like he has the stuff to be a good pitcher but he just can't get it together. He did cut his walks way down last season while maintaining a good K rate, so maybe the results will finally start to show this season.

Twitter: Jake can be found on Twitter @JArrieta34.

Bullpen

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Joy R. Absalon- USA TODAY Sports

Jim Johnson - RHP - Closer
2012: 71 G, 68 2/3 IP, 2.49 ERA/3.25 FIP
Career: 286 G, 329 2/3 IP, 3.14 ERA/3.57 FIP

If you want to win a billion one-run games, a shut down bullpen is a must. And for the Orioles, that shut down bullpen was lead by Jim Johnson. Though 2012 was Johnson's first year as the full-time closer, he's been an above average contributor to the O's bullpen since 2008. Johnson's power sinker is his bread and butter, and I expect it'll be more of the same in 2013.

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J. Meric - Getty Images

Darren O'Day - RHP
2012: 69 G, 67 IP, 2.28 ERA/2.96 FIP
Career: 255 G, 247 2/3 IP, 2.73 ERA/3.54 FIP

Claimed off of waivers before the Orioles even had a new GM, O'Day was an integral part of the team's success last year. His reward was two-year, $5.8M contract with an option for 2015. With a K/9 of 9.3 and a BB/9 of just under two, O'Day was death to lefties and righties alike.

O'Day settled in as the set up man for Johnson in the last month of the season, but I'd like to see him in any high-leverage situation this season.

He's also kind goofy, as seen in the picture to the left. He can be found on Twitter @DODay56.

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Mark L. Baer- USA TODAY Sports

2012: 70 G, 66 1/3 IP, 2.44 ERA/3.59 FIP
Career: 115 G, 106 IP, 3.48 ERA/3.63 FIP

I'll be honest: Pedro Strop kind of scares me. When he's on, he's fantastic. That's how he pitched in this year's WBC and he was a joy to watch. His pitches have nasty movement and he throws as hard as anyone on the team. But he also walked 37 batters in 66 innings last year, which is terrifying. If he can't get that number down (and his career walk rate suggests that he might not be able to), it could be disastrous when he goes through a rough stretch.

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Joe Nicholson- USA TODAY Sports

2012: 33 G/20 GS, 133 2/3 IP, 5.45 ERA/5.75 FIP
Career: 98 G/75 GS, 469 1/3 IP, 4.77 ERA/5.03 FIP

OK, so those numbers, especially the 2012 numbers, are not good. Not at all. Tommy Hunter has a penchant for giving up home runs with a HR/9 of 2.2 last season, highest on the team by a large margin. But what the numbers above don't tell you is that when Hunter isn't starting, he's really not all that bad. His career numbers as a relief pitcher are just plain better. After he moved to the bullpen permanently in September of last year, his ERA was just 0.71 and batters hit .255/.280/.298 against him. Not to mention his fastball jumped from low 90s to almost 100 mph once he made the switch.

Showing that Tommy has a pretty good sense of humor about himself, you can find him at Twitter @TommyGoesBoom.

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Joy R. Absalon- USA TODAY Sports

2012 - 54 G, 55 2/3 IP, 2.43 ERA/3.26 FIP
Career - 78 G, 99 IP, 2.73 ERA/3.58 FIP

The joke about Troy Patton is that he either doesn't exist, or that the Orioles hired an actor to play him because he was criminally underused when he was first called up. We may have to lay that meme to rest after last season, when Patton was used extensively and also was awesome. He only got into 58 games mostly because he spent time on the disabled list with a sprained ankle.

And don't call Patton a LOOGY. This guy can get anyone out, regardless of their handedness.

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2012 - 34 G/16 GS, 98 IP, 4.87 ERA/4.69 FIP
Career - 86 G/69 GS, 368 IP, 5.36 ERA/4.71 FIP

Oh, Brian Matusz. What is there to say? Well, for one thing, he might get sent down to the minors when Tillman is recalled this weekend. So he better make his time count.

After being demoted from the majors last year, Matusz spent some time at AAA to think about what he'd done, and when he returned as a relief pitcher he wasn't half bad. Can he keep it up? Your guess is as good a mine. At least we know he can get lefties out.

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Jim Rogash - Getty Images

2012 - 66 G, 75 IP, 2.64 ERA/3.67 FIP
Career - 495 G, 521 1/3 IP, 3.35 ERA/3.98 FIP

What is it about Luis Ayala that makes me nervous? His numbers last year were pretty good, after all. Well...except for that fact that he let 44% of his inherited runners score. Yes, that must be why he makes me nervous.

Ayala is on a very team-friendly contract this season, so if he flames out at age 35 it's no big loss. But he does have his value in the bullpen, and in my opinion that value is pitching in medium-leverage situations. He's not a mop up guy, but I don't want him protecting a one-run lead with the heart of the lineup coming up either.

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. McFarland - LHP

As a Rule 5 draft pick, the next big league game McFarland pitches in will be his first. It looks like the Orioles are going to try and stash the kid in the bullpen to keep him in the organization, but if he's not getting the job done when they call on him he might be headed back to the Indians.

Disabled List

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Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Johnson - RHP

Son of Dave was in the mix for the fifth starter spot when he strained a lat muscle towards the end of spring training. Once he gets healthy he'll either take over for a disgraced Jake Arrieta in the rotation or be sent down to AAA Norfolk to wait his turn.

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Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

Tsuyoshi Wada - LHP

Wada is still waiting to make his Orioles debut after needing Tommy John surgery last year. Reports say he'll be pitching again in May so we can hope to see him on the team before the All-Star Break.

According to Baseball Reference, Wada's nickname is Dr. K. I wonder who coined that?

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