Orioles’ starting pitchers have allowed just two runs across 26 innings (0.69 ERA) over the first four games of the season, but don’t let that fool you.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Orioles are currently “poking around” for fifth-starter types.
Justin Duchscherer and Brian Matusz are both on the disabled list and will likely be sidelined for the entire first month of the season. Jeremy Guthrie is spending another night in the hospital due to pneumonia and is a question mark to start this weekend. Likewise, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman have a grand total of 44 major league starts between them, so the Orioles could certainly use some insurance, even of the mediocre variety.
We haven’t heard any specific names yet, but some notable free agents include the recently-released Carlos Silva and Doug Davis, who is coming back from elbow surgery. The Orioles were one of eight teams present when Davis threw a bullpen session late last month.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.