So what do CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Mark Buehrle, John Lackey, Rick Porcello and Gil Meche all have common?
Besides being pretty good pitchers they all have ERA’s higher than Jeremy Guthrie right now.
I wonder how many fans would admit they wanted Guthrie gone after he led the AL in losses and homers allowed last year. He went 10-17, 5.04.
Now after ten starts, he is 3-4, 3.64. He is tied for first in the AL with eight quality starts and that is in ten outings. He is 10th in the league in innings, 18th in pitches per game and 23rd in ERA.
After ten starts last year he had an ERA of 4.90 and just four quality starts.
Last night, Guthrie said he had “so-so” stuff and was scuffling and his pitch count was getting too high too fast.
But he gave up just one run over six innings to Oakland.
Even though he needed 113 pitches to get 18 outs, he got clutch outs, making some big pitches as Oakland went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position against him. He got out of a bases loaded jam in the third, stranded two runners in the fourth and pitched around a one-out double in the sixth.
In a year where few things have gone right for this team, Guthrie’s comeback year may turn out to be one of the best stories of 2010.
He has cemented his spot in the team’s rotation and given it another trade chip for any team in need of a starter at the July trade deadline.
The O’s may have a tough call to make over the next few weeks. Deal Guthrie for a prospect or two or keep him around. He cannot be a free agent until after the 2012 season.
At 31, he should have several good years left. He pitched 200 innings last season and is headed for that figure again.
He may be also headed for his third solid season in four years and that could prove that 2009 was a fluke.
I remember over the winter several posters who strongly believe in the peripheral stats telling me Guthrie had been lucky during the 2007 and 2008 seasons and we saw the “real Guthrie” last year.
I disputed the notion then and do now as well. Guthrie was among the top 15 in ERA in the league for two straight years. You don’t do that with luck or smoke and mirrors over 60 plus starts.
He’s got some quality pitches and knows how to use them. Whether it’s confidence, the chance to have a complete spring training or a better arm slot, Guthrie is back to the form we saw two years ago.
In a season filled with disapointments, that’s a development worth talking about.
The Bowie Baysox have placed SS Pedro Florimon on the disabled list and added RHP Zach Clark off Aberdeen’s roster. Florimon has played 37 games for the Baysox this year, all at shortstop. He is batting .183 (22-120) with three doubles, one home run, 12 RBIs and four stolen bases. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, June 1.
Clark has been an important piece of the Baysox bullpen this year. In 11 appearances, he is 1-0 with one save and a 1.65 ERA in 27.1 innings. Last year Clark pitched for four different Orioles affiliates, including 13 games in Bowie.