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Spun Out Rotation

For a team that once sported over 30 pitchers vying for spots, the Orioles' competition for the starting rotation has certainly thinned out.

At this point the only pitchers locked in to the rotation are Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara. Of course, Uehara is nursing an injured hamstring that has forced the team to push back his next start and put restraints on his activities.

Injuries have played the biggest factor in the Orioles predicament as presumed third starter Rich Hill has been plagued by arm problems this spring that may have cost him too much time for the liking of pitching coach Rick Kranitz or Manager Dave Trembley. Though Hill is close to returning, it's hard to gauge how effective he'll be at this stage.

Another guy that figured to have an inside track on a spot in the rotation is Brad Hennessey but his spring has yet to recover from a rocky start that saw him leave the team's first exhibition game with soreness in his elbow.

An injured shoulder has kept John Parrish from even taking the field this spring. Though Parrish projects to be more of a long reliever than a starting pitcher, he still had an outside shot of pitching his way into the conversation.

Add in the fact that Matt Albers, Chris Waters and Radhames Liz (once the Orioles' top pitching prospect) have been earmarked for the bullpen to start the season and suddenly the question becomes, who is even available to start?

Let's see if we can't go through the remaining options lightning round style...

  • Danys Baez - Surprisingly cromulent this spring in his attempts to reinvent himself as a starter this year. Of course O's fans haven't forgotten his 2007 relief appearances.
  • Brian Bass - New changeup gives him an outside chance at the rotation.
  • Brad Bergesen - Throws strikes, effective but not overpowering.
  • Adam Eaton - Picked up on the cheap but turned in a schizophrenic outing in his first appearance with the team.
  • Mark Hendrickson - Ought to be a reliever but may be just effective enough to be the 5.
  • David Pauley - Slowly pitching himself onto the waiver wire.
  • Hayden Penn - His bad luck with injuries makes him the human embodiment of a snakebite. Is out of options so the team would like him to land a spot.

That everyone? Did I leave off Rick Krivda?

My prediction (aside from pain) is Guthrie, Uehara, Bergesen, Penn and Hill. How do you guys see this whole thing shaking out?

By CJ Holley  |  March 17, 2009; 2:28 PM ET
Categories:  Orioles  
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Next: Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Comments

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.

That said, where's Ken Dixon when you need him? The Orioles better hope that Matusz, Tillman, et al. get it together pretty quickly, because no matter how you slice it, that rotation looks really, really bad.

Posted by: dockboggs | March 17, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I thought Cromulents were the sworn enemies of the Cling-ons or were those the Corpulents and the kid had a rough night last night.

Posted by: Juliasdad | March 18, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

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