When a team has lost 110 games and seven straight series, it can be hard to notice when something actually does go well. But the Orioles bullpen was solid the last two days in New York and the ‘pen has posted an ERA of 2.63 over the last eight games.
Several pitchers are throwing well lately:
* Tanner Scott has thrown scoreless ball in his last four games and in eight of his last 10 games, allowing two runs in 8 2/3 with three walks and 14 strikeouts. Scott has an ERA of 3.86 in the second-half and in 23 1/3 innings has walked 10, fanned 34 and allowed a batting average against of .212. His slider has become such a weapon against both left and right-handed batters. He’s getting better before our eyes.
* Miguel Castro has an ERA of 1.84 over his past 11 games.
* Mychal Givens threw three scoreless innings in the last two days at Yankee Stadium. Over his past nine games, he has yielded just one run in 11 1/3 innings and is 4-for-5 in save chances in September.
* Right-hander Ryan Meisinger threw two scoreless on 23 pitches Sunday. He has thrown five consecutive scoreless outings covering 7 2/3 innings.
The 2019 rebuilding Orioles will have a bullpen that fits a club trying to construct a winning roster for the long haul. Plenty of young pitchers with potential worth looking at and sorting out to see who is in and who is out on future teams.
Barring offseason changes and additions for the bullpen, Givens should return as closer. He is certainly warming up to the job as the season goes on.
From the left side and looking at only pitchers, we have seen already this year in the majors, Scott and Paul Fry have shown plenty of potential this year and remember that Richard Bleier, he of the 1.97 career ERA, will return. Sean Gilmartin and Donnie Hart add depth.
As for some lefties we have not seen, the Orioles have to decide if they will add Luis Gonzalez to the mix and put him on the 40-man roster over the winter. And Chris Lee could find his way back onto the 40-man after throwing well in relief for Bowie. Although his ERA jumped from 0.55 to 3.50 when he gave up seven runs his last two outings.
Among those we have not seen yet, no doubt right-hander Branden Kline will be added to the 40-man after a strong year at Double-A Bowie and he could certainly impact the 2019 bullpen. The Orioles are sending right-handers Jay Flaa and Tanner Chleborad to the Arizona Fall League starting next month. No doubt that will help the club decide if one or both should be added to the 40-man in November.
The Orioles also have to make 40-man roster decisions on pitchers like lefty John Means and right-hander Dillon Tate and no doubt they could pitch either starter or bullpen innings during the 2019 season. And pitchers we have seen make starts this year - a list that includes Yefry Ramirez, Josh Rogers and David Hess - could have bullpen innings next year.
The Orioles bullpen is on a good run right now. Perhaps they are finally getting their footing and getting used to life after Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Darren O’Day.
The 2019 team has plenty of bullpen possibilities, even before the offseason begins. It will be an interesting story to follow. Can the rebuilding O’s start to build a nice bullpen for the future beginning next year?
Meanwhile, is this Baltimore South? The Braves, who have a few former Orioles on the team, clinched the NL East on Saturday and yesterday honored Nick Markakis.
Nick Markakis has played every game for a division-winning club.@Braves manager Brian Snitker pulls him after one inning for rest. His teammates and fans give him a standing ovation. pic.twitter.com/wq8cIrM4sv-- FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) September 23, 2018