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With NL games looming, the Orioles pitching staff brings mixed offensive potential

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But Zach Britton and Yovani Gallardo can mash

Baltimore Orioles v Atlanta Braves Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Orioles begin a short series with the Padres in San Diego later today. Next Monday, they head to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers. That’s right: National League road games, baby. You know what that means: Pitchers. Hitting.

These five games will the first time that the O’s have traveled to an NL park in 2016. So, those swings on the pill tossers may be a tad bit rusty.

It will more than likely only be the starters who get the chance to step into the batter’s box. So, here are the career numbers in the majors for the rotation:

And here is what they did with the bat in their hands while working through the minors:

As you can see, Gallardo can straight up mash the ball. He hit .333 down in the minors and has had 12 home runs in his major league career. Former O’s shortstop Cesar Izturis had only five more during his entire playing career and he hit every day.

I mean, do we need to remind ourselves of this “great” moment in Orioles history?

Poor T.J...

But the trio of Gausman, Wilson and Tillman, all of whom came through an American League system, don’t look like they could hit themselves out of a wet paper bag. But they also have not had much of a chance.

Also of note, if you recall, Gausman swings the stick left-handed, so don’t be shocked when he saddles up the plate. That is, if he even gets the opportunity.

But let’s say something crazy happens and the guys in the bullpen have to hit. Could they hold their own? Well, neither Oliver Drake nor Dylan Bundy have ever swung a bat as professionals, so they are out. But you may remember the days when Zach Britton was a starter and he tore up the NL in a couple of games back in 2011.

But he may tell manager Buck Showalter to keep as far away from the plate as possible. He needs to keep that stellar .625 career batting average in tact.

Here is how the entire bullpen has fared in their career as big leaguers:

Let’s not ignore those minor league numbers though. Givens was actually drafted as a shortstop and spent quite a lot of time as a hitter with the Orioles farm teams. Granted, he struggled and that was part of the reason he converted to pitching, but he has to have some talent with the lumber to be drafted into a professional organization.

Only Givens, Brach and Despaigne took at-bats while working through the system:

So, if we want to rank the Orioles pitchers from best to worst I think it would have to be Gallardo, Givens, Britton, Jimenez and then a tie of futility at the bottom.

Yovani gets the top spot because he has continually proven to be good at the highest level. Givens goes second because, while a .247 average in Single-A is pretty awful, it’s much better than most of these jamokes could do.

Controversially, I’m putting Britton third because eight at-bats have the chance of flukiness to them. With another eight hitless at-bats he could be down to a paltry .313 average...Ok, yeah that’s still pretty good. I’m sticking with it anyway. Jimenez goes fourth cuz he at least has a triple-digit average. But, this was one of his hits...

Having pitchers hit is pretty dumb. They are bad at it and only half of the teams do it on a regular basis. But few can argue that it isn’t at least a little bit fun.

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