Will Orioles prevail because of rotation?

Will Orioles prevail because of rotation?
June 14, 2014, 6:45 pm
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Someone out there is expressing great faith in the Orioles’ starting pitching, particularly vis-à-vis the American League East’s top dog, the Toronto Blue Jays, but is this faith misplaced?

Jon Paul Morosi writes at FoxSports.com that the Jays should be looking warily over their shoulders at the O’s, because the O’s rotation is better constructed.

“The Orioles can credibly utter one of the most exclusive phrases in baseball: ‘We have starting pitching depth at the major-league level,’” Morosi says. “The Jays aren’t able to make the same boast.”

As we just mentioned the other day, citing Morosi’s colleague Ken Rosenthal, the Jays rotation does have some potential worries — age and durability chief among them. However, the statistics this season don’t bear out favoring the O’s starters over the Jays’.

At 3.72, Toronto’s starters have the AL’s No. 4 ERA. The Orioles’ 4.31 ranks 11th. The O’s are tied for next-to-last in the league in number of innings pitched by their starters. Jays starters are No. 7 in the AL.

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But Morosi is assuming that Toronto’s rotation will falter in the second half, while the Orioles will be able to stay afloat with superior depth.

“All the pitchers in the Orioles’ season-opening rotation … are in their prime years,” Morosi writes. “They’re old enough to know what to expect from the six- and possibly seven-month grind and young enough for their bodies to withstand the rigor.”

Fans who have watched Ubaldo Jiminez give up four or more runs seven times this season might wonder how much Morosi is counting on that pitcher in particular.