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Orioles 2014 25-man roster: The pitchers

A look at the starting rotation and bullpen for your 2014 Baltimore Orioles.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles still have to make things official to get a few players on the 40-man or to the DL, but the 25-man roster is set. Check out the pitchers here and the hitters in part two of this story.

Starting Rotation

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Tillman - RHP
2013: 33 GS, 206.1 IP, 3.71 ERA/4.42 FIP
Career: 84 GS, 473 IP, 4.28 ERA/4.73 FIP

Tillman's success over the last two seasons as an Oriole resulted in the nod from Buck Showalter to be the Opening Day starter, and we're all hoping he lives up to the expectations. For two years running Tillman has outpitched his FIP considerably. Will he be one of those guys who does that over his career, or will it all come back to get him in 2014?

Jonathan Dyer - USA Today Sports

Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP
2013:  32 GS, 182.2 IP, 3.30 ERA/3.43 FIP
Career: 211 GS, 1275.2 IP, 3.92 ERA/3.78 FIP

Ah, Ubaldo Jimenez. The free agent acquisition that nobody thought the Orioles would make. While both his 2013 and career numbers are very pretty, it's hard not to think of the Ubaldo from 2011-2012 who looked like he had completely lost his way. I don't think it's an understatement to say that much of the Orioles' success will depend on which Ubaldo shows up in 2014.

Jonathan Dyer - USA Today Sports

Wei-Yin Chen - LHP
2013: 23 GS, 137 IP, 4.07 ERA/4.04 FIP
Career: 55 GS, 329.2 IP, 4.04 ERA/4.26 FIP

There was some chatter on Twitter earlier this spring about how Wei-Yin Chen is a mediocre starting pitcher who wouldn't cut it in many team's starting rotations. That is completely untrue. Sure, his numbers aren't flashy, but pretty much every team needs a pitcher like him.  He has good control, he keeps the game in hand, and he averages six innings per start. Nothing wrong with that.

Leon Halip - Getty Images

Miguel Gonzalez - RHP
2013: 30 G/28 GS, 171.1 IP, 3.78 ERA/4.45 FIP
Career: 48 G/43 GS, 276.2 IP, 3.58 ERA/4.42 FIP

It seems to me that people keep waiting for Miguel Gonzalez to fail. Maybe those people see a guy with low strikeout numbers who gives up a fair number of homers and thus thinks his success is smoke and mirrors. Maybe they see that he has outperformed his FIP since being promoted to the majors. Or maybe it's because he didn't make his major-league debut until he was 28 years old. But I'm not waiting for him to fail, because I believe he's a good pitcher.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Bud Norris - RHP
2013: 32 G/30 GS, 4.18 ERA/3.86 FIP
Career: 130 G/127 GS, 4.36 ERA/4.12 FIP

It's no secret that I don't think Bud Norris is cut out for a major-league rotation. At least, not on a good baseball team. It's hard to imagine him sticking in the O's rotation for the entire season when all signs point to Kevin Gausman being ready for the big leagues sometime this year. Norris' main issue is that he just can't get lefties out. Over his career they hit .273/.359/.452 with an OPS that is over 100 points higher than his number against righties. I look forward to the day he's in the bullpen because the Orioles are better off that way.


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Hunter - RHP
2013: 68 G, 2.81 ERA/3.68 FIP, 1.1 HR/9, 4.86 K/BB, 14% IS%
Career: 166 G/75 GS, 4.47 ERA/4.82 FIP, 1.5 HR/9, 2.65 K/BB, 20% IS%

Nothing yet has been announced, but it looks like Tommy Hunter is going to be the closer for your 2014 Baltimore Orioles. On the surface that doesn't seem like too bad of an idea (other than that high home run rate), but for a team that has a lot of lefties, even if they're just on the bench, Tommy is not the guy you want responsible for locking down the game in the ninth inning. In his career lefties OPS .843 against him (as opposed to just .683 for righties). In fact, all 11 home runs he gave up in 2014 were to lefties. My fingers are crossed that when the O's go into the ninth and there are lefties coming up, Buck Showalter will turn to Brian Matusz to get the job done.
Steve Bisig - US PRESSWIRE
Darren O'Day - RHP
2013: 68 G, 2.18 ERA/3.58 FIP, 1.0 HR/9, 3.93 K/BB, 32% IS%
Career: 323 G, 2.62 ERA/3.55 FIP, 0.9 HR/9, 3.54 K/BB, 26% IS%

The Darren O'Day of 2013 wasn't quite as good his 2012 version, but he was still pretty good. He allowed 32% of inherited runners to score, as opposed to just 14% in '12, and he was just terrible against lefties (.922 OPS against -- ack!). But the lefties thing was an aberration from the rest of his career, so it's not crazy to think he'll get it under control.  I have faith that he will continue to be a solid member of the 'pen.
Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images
Brian Matusz - LHP
2013: 65 G, 3.53 ERA/2.91 FIP, 0.5 HR/9, 3.13 K/BB, 14% IS%
Career: 151 G/68 GS, 5.13 ERA/4.49 FIP, 1.3 HR/9, 2.22 K/BB, 10% IS%

The Orioles went through the charade again this spring of acting like Brian Matusz had a chance to be a starting pitcher. Maybe stretching him out was an emergency plan in case one of the starting pitchers suffered an injury, or maybe they were hoping some team out there would want to trade for him. Whatever the reason, it was for naught. Brian is right back where he belongs, and unless he develops a pitch that helps him retire right-handed batters, the bullpen is where he will stay.

Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images
Ryan Webb - RHP
2013: 66 G, 2.91 ERA/3.60 FIP, 0.6 HR/9, 2 K/BB, 29% IS%
Career: 266 G, 3.29 ERA/3.44 FIP, 0.4 HR/9, 1.98 K/BB, 33% IS%

For much of the winter, Ryan Webb was the Orioles big off season acquisition. Signed to a two-year contract in December, think of Webb as something of a poor man's Jim Johnson. He doesn't strike out many and his walk rate is good but not great, but he makes his living throwing ground balls. He has a career 57.4% ground ball rate. And as you can see by the photo to the left, he's also pretty good at sneering.
Jason Miller - Getty Images
Zach Britton - LHP
2013 - 8 G/7 GS, 4.95 ERA/4.80 FIP, 0.9 HR/9, 1.06 K/BB
Career - 48 G/46 GS, 4.77 ERA/4.20 FIP, 0.8 HR/9, 1.51 K/BB

It's early to say that Zach Britton's career as a starting pitcher is over, but if he wants to be on the Orioles, he'll be in the bullpen. Unable to crack the rotation and out of options to be sent back to the minors, Britton has the chance to remake himself as a relief pitcher. In spring training his velocity was up as reports say he hit 95 mph with regularity. Britton has never had extreme splits like Matusz, so maybe he'd be a good option to close if Hunter can't handle it.
Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images

Josh Stinson - RHP
2013 MLB: 11 G/1 GS, 3.18 ERA/5.40 FIP, 2.1 HR/9, 4.0 K/BB
2013 AAA:  23 GS, 3.78 ERA/4.29 FIP, 0.8 HR/9 1.61 K/BB

Another out of options pitcher, Stinson looked pretty good out of the 'pen in 2013 and on the mound in spring training. He'll likely be called on when the team needs a relief pitcher who can go multiple innings, but if he doesn't work out and has to be exposed to waivers to go back to the minors, I won't consider it too big of a deal.
Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
Evan Meek - RHP
2013 AAA: 33 G/15 GS, 4.50 ERA/4.39 FIP, 0.8 HR/9, 1.75 K/BB
Career MLB: 156 G, 3.34 ERA/3.99 FIP, 0.6 HR/9, 1.60 K/BB

Signed to a minor-league contract in February, Meek was good enough in spring training to warrant a chance in the bullpen to start the season. Meek had a few good years with the Pirates from 2009-2011, but spent all of 2013 in AAA with the Rangers. His numbers from then aren't confidence inspiring, but he was pitching in the Pacific Coast League so they are likely inflated. This guy's real problem is his control. He loves to walk guys. When he has that under control he's a pretty good pitcher.

Disabled List

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Edgmer Escalona - RHP
2013: 37 G, 5.67 ERA/4.87 FIP, 1.6 HR/9, 2.43 K/BB
Career: 78 G, 4.50 ERA/4.67 FIP, 1.4 HR/9, 2.22 K/BB

Escalona hoped to claim a spot in the Orioles bullpen, but on March 4th he was shut down with shoulder inflammation and will start the season on the disabled list. His numbers aren't very pretty, especially the homers. But he spent 2010-2013 with the Colorado so it's possible that he could bring it down in another environment. That doesn't really mean I'd like to see him get that chance at Camden Yards. No word on when Escalona will be healthy and ready to play again.

Restricted List

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Troy Patton - LHP
2013:  45 G, 3.70 ERA/4.42 FIP, 1.3 HR/9, 2.63 K/BB, 39% IS%
Career:  134 G, 3.08 ERA/3.88 FIP, 1.0 HR/9, 3.21 K/BB, 32% IS%

Oh, Troy. Our problem child. He got himself into another bind back in December when it was revealed that he tested positive for Adderall, his second positive test since 2010. That earned him a 25-game suspension. It's likely that when he's ready to come back there will be at least one player in the bullpen who will be injured and/or crappy, so we'll welcome him back. Just don't do it again, ok Troy?