Friday, April 30, 2010

Jeremy Guthrie Still Has Value In The Oriole Rotation

With Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta pitching well for Norfolk, there has been some talk of replacing Jeremy Guthrie in the rotation after his wretched start last night against the Yankees, a game in which he gave up 6 Earned Runs in just 4.2 innings. But I think that's throwing out the baby with the bathwater at this point.

Guthrie's peripheral based stats:

Guthrie '10 3.90 4.45 18 6 3

That is over 30.2 innings (second only to Kevin Millwood's 32.0 innings for Baltimore) and good for a WAR of 0.5 over 5 starts. (Also second on the team behind Brian Matusz's 0.7 WAR.)

The guy is pitching a little better than his ERA would lead you to believe and it's no fluke (a .302 BABIP is actually a bit higher than his average over the past three seasons). Even after last night, and we have to remember this Oriole fans, it was only one game, he is still the second most valuable pitcher on the team. In Millwood and Guthrie, the Orioles have two pitchers who can reasonably be expected to be at least league average and pitch into the 6th inning every night.

Have you seen the bullpen? Guthrie has value if for no other reason that he can eat innings. Hopefully Dave Trembley realizes that even if some of the fans don't.


Peter said...

I don't think many people are denying that Guthrie can still help the O's rotation (although some people are assuming Tillman or Arrieta will come up and pitch well, while Guthrie will revert back to 2009's form, and I think you do a good job of debunking that based on Guthrie's performance thus far) but what is the point right now of Guthrie helping the O's win games?

The O's are 7-18, now there is still time to salvage the season obviously...But if they keep losing and are 10 games out end of May, then at some point, the focus has to become the future.

If Guthrie wasn't aging, coming off a bad year, heading into his arbitration and 30+ years, then I wouldn't want him replaced. All about the future right now at least for me.

Heath said...

I agree that the "future is now" but until Guthrie is no longer one of the 5 best starting pitchers, I don't see what the rush is. Arrieta is close but even if he comes up, that's Millwood, Matusz, Hernandez, Bergesen, Guthrie and Arrieta. Gutherie is still better than Hernandez and probably Bergesen.

Besides, Millwood will be gone next year and they'll need an innings eater for 2011 and beyond. He won't cost much in arbitration. He's a workhorse and moving him to the pen takes away a lot of his value.