Now that they have added the 2021 National League Cy Young award winner, right-hander Corbin Burnes, just how good is the Orioles rotation? Does it stack up among the top groups in the American League?
A discussion of this on MLB Network this week led the analysts to ponder that question and believe the answer is likely yes.
They listed a graphic of “notable 2024 projected rotations" in the American League, listing in no particular order, Seattle, Baltimore, New York, Houston and Toronto.
Here are the pitchers projected to be in all five:
Seattle: Luis Castillo, George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo
Baltimore: Corbin Burnes, Kyle Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez, John Means and Dean Kremer
New York: Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodón, Marcus Stroman, Nestor Cortes and Clarke Schmidt
Houston: Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Hunter Brown and José Urquidy
Toronto: Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Chris Bassitt, Yusei Kikuchi and Alek Manoah
The top five staffs for the 2023 season in the AL in rotation ERA were Minnesota (3.82), Toronto (3.85), Seattle (3.89), Tampa Bay (3.92) and Texas (3.96).
While for the full year the Orioles were seventh at 4.14, they were decidedly better in the second half. Their rotation ERA post-All-Star break of 3.74 ranked third-best in the AL and fifth-best in the majors. The O’s overall team ERA of 3.58 in the second half rated first in the AL and third in the majors.
To that strong finish, as their young pitchers like Bradish and Rodriguez were putting it all together and Means was joining the team in September, they added Burnes. The right-hander had a big second half of his own, pitching to a 2.71 ERA his last 14 starts for Milwaukee.
Burnes, 29, has finished eighth or higher for four straight years of Cy Young voting. In that span, his ERA is 2.86 and his WHIP is 0.996. They added a legit ace to a surging and improving rotation.
Hall ready to move on: In an interview this week on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, lefty DL Hall called his trade to the Milwaukee Brewers “an unbelievable opportunity.”
He may finally get a chance to be a starter every fifth day. Hall leaves Baltimore as a man that we first saw as the kid with the big left arm they selected in the first round of the 2017 draft out of a Georgia High School.
He was a top 100 prospect many times. And after finally getting over his 2023 spring back injury mid-summer last year, he was pitching some big innings late in the season and in the postseason for the only team he had known until last week.
For the year in the majors, his ERA was 3.26 with a 1.190 WHIP in 19 1/3 innings. In his last seven regular season games, he pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and one unearned run. Then he added 3 1/3 scoreless in two playoff outings versus Texas.
So over his last nine games, counting the playoffs, he pitched 10 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and one unearned run with one walk and 13 strikeouts. Opponents' batters hit .108 (4-for-37) off him.
Hall said in his radio interview he would fondly remember his time with the Orioles.
“Dating all the way back to when I was an 18-year-old kid, getting drafted by the organization and given the chance to call myself a professional baseball player, I will always be thankful for that and Baltimore the city and fans took me in," he said. "A young kid. And making it all the way to the playoffs with those guys.
“Seemed like we were in a deep, dark hole three or four years ago. To be able to be there and be a part of last year, going that far and seeing our young group be a part of it, obviously was very special. It is something I will always hold dear to my heart.”
O’s fans have seen enough of both Hall and Joey Ortiz to know that duo could really thrive on the Brewers' watch.
You have to give up something to get an ace pitcher and they did. Here is to wishing both those guys well and appreciating the many times I interviewed them over the years, appreciating their time and candor.
Maton added by club: The Orioles' 40-man roster is at 39 as the start of spring training approaches. Last night, the club acquired infielder/outfielder Nick Maton from Detroit for cash considerations.
Maton (pronounced MAY-tahn), 26, hit .173/.288/.305/.593 with nine doubles, eight home runs, 29 runs scored, 32 RBIs, 38 walks and one stolen base in 93 games for the Tigers last season. He made the Opening Day roster for the first time in his career and had two stints with Detroit. Maton hit his first career walk-off home run on April 14.
He’s played in 180 major league games between the Phillies and Tigers over parts of three seasons since 2021 and made Philadelphia’s World Series roster in 2022 against Houston. He has a career average of .208 and .666 OPS.
He might get a look from the Orioles as a defender that can play all over the diamond, a super utility type. In his big league career he has 42 starts at third base, 41 at second base, 19 at shortstop and 12 in a corner outfield spot.
At Triple-A Toledo in 2023, Maton batted .293/.414/.457/.871 in 38 games and 175 plate appearances. Maton has no options remaining.