Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Arm City


It's weird that, even without John Means, Tyler Wells, Kyle Bradish and Dean Kremer, the Orioles still have a very intimidating rotation. And that's not because Albert Suarez just gave every Yankee fan in America a heart attack last night.

This is the kind of pitching depth the Orioles had been waiting to build for years. Once Means came up, he was supposed to be the start of something. Him not staying healthy enough to see it is another thing entirely, but without him, we don't get Kremer, Wells, Bruce Zimmermann, Grayson Rodriguez and Bradish coming in and making something count. 

And so now we're at the point where the Orioles have such an expansive homegrown pitching core that they can take on extraneous reinforcements. Hence Suarez, who nobody can really hit right now, thought the Yanks certainly got to him last night. And now Cade Povich, who came over in the Jorge Lopez deal [which has taken on a new meaning now], has been wonderful in his first two starts of the season, with his second start being a scoreless, dominant affair against the Braves. That this sort of b-team, which also includes Cole Irvin, who's also been wonderful this year, has been keeping things together in Baltimore this year is very reassuring.

Also reassuring is the quality of the top two guys, which has stayed unmoved all year. Obviously Corbin Burnes was an 'exactly what it says on the tin' type acquisition; you get Burnes, he's gonna be hard to hit. So far he's 8-2 with a 2.14 ERA and 89 Ks in 15 starts, which is pretty incredible, even by his standards. Undoubtedly he'll be making an All-Star team, and hopefully Rubenstein will ensure that it's the first of many. And then you have Grayson Rodriguez, primed for long term success this year. In 12 starts, he's been 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA and 77 strikeouts, and he's finally proving his MLB durability after years of being a top prospect. Last year was shakier, but the bones were there, and now Rodriguez is as trustworthy as they all thought he'd be.

The Orioles so far have matched up decently against the Yankees, though New York getting the edge in game 1 came down to superior offense and superior starting pitching. But that's subject to change, considering Povich and Irvin will get chances against Gerrit Cole and Luis Gil later on this week. And while the Yanks neutralized Gunnar Henderson in Game 1, with the fire that's now building between these two, who knows if he'll stay dormant this series.

Yanks-O's is fun again, after years of being lopsided, and I'm very much here for it. Just maybe cut back on the whole 'eye for an eye' thing please.

Coming Tonight: He's closed for many teams, but they've all been teams that wear red. And this is only the latest. 

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