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March 31, 2009

Your 2009 Orioles starting rotation

Dave Trembley is not ready to announce the rotation, but all you had to do was read between the lines to determine that this is it -- barring the minuscule possibility of a trade between now and Opening Day.

Jeremy Guthrie
Koji Uehara
Alfredo Simon
Adam Eaton
Mark Hendrickson

The last three won't necessarily pitch in that order, but those are the guys, since Trembley confirmed after Hayden Penn's difficult outing that he had removed himself from consideration for the rotation. Trembley also confirmed that Brian Bass is being groomed for a relief role and that there are no plans to bring back Brad Bergesen right away, which leaves just five candidates from the original list that numbered in the double digits.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 4:14 PM | | Comments (73)
Categories: Just baseball


Eaton sucks! They should just put Bass in the rotation.

Hendrickson (swinger)


They will likely keep Eaton and put Bass in relief though.

Well, we can be in the game for 2 out of every 5. Lord help us.

WOW!!! Now that's a staff sure to strike fear in the hearts of the Evil Empire & Red Sox Nation.
In all honesty...that rotation would not win very much at the AAA level. I guess we should now start the Dave Trembley Will Be Fired On This Date pool with that assembled group of Cy Young's. Pathetic!

If Bergesen gets off to a good start at AAA and Hill can get his head screwed on right at extended spring training the rotation might even show some hopeful signs by the end of May.


Who will be first possibility off the DL assuming someone in the rotation falters? I haven't heard Hennessey's name mentioned in awhile, so I was wondering if he's still being considered for any role.

God we suck

The worst rotation in mlb! Hands down!

That means that we got a chance of winning about 40% of our games. So that gives us a 12th losing season at 65-97.

Eaton is worse than Trachsel ever was. He should be released.

And I frankly see no room in the bullpen for Bass, who should be in the rotation.... he has earned it.

Hendrickson is a joke. And the only role I see for him is that of a swingman.

Koji, Guthrie, Simon, Bass.


Ray, Sherrill, Sarfate, Walker, Baez, Albers, and Johnson.
That's 12 pitchers.

That has got to be the worst starting rotation in the league. Hendrickson is no good. Eaton is horrible, Simon is unproven and the top two should be 4/5 guys on a good team. Sure hope we can put up 10 a night.

Yikes. Can't wait for 2010.

Lord help us.

That rotation is an absolute joke. Except I'm not laughing.

The "Big Three" of Tillman, Matusz and Arrieta better pan out (remember the promised golden years of Cabrera, Loewen, Bedard, Penn, etc.?) or else the fans are going to be marching to the Warehouse with pitchforks.

The O's have no choice but to send Penn through waivers. If he gets picked up, so be it. He's obviously not ready to pitch in the major leagues or for the Orioles.

Pete penn is just another glowing prospect that this organization has over rated. It just continues and continues and continues.Sure everybody will say that don't worry penn was another mistake by the old regime,and now that GOD Sorry i meant Andy is on board we don't make any more mistakes and whatever he says we believe to be the absolute truth. Don't bet your whole 401k on that PETE.

Apparently people here had high expectations for our pitching staff coming into spring training.

I for one think Trembley and Kranitz did a fantastic job to manage all the candidates, as well as injuries, rain outs and inconsistent performances.

I would have liked to see Hill and Penn in the rotation, but Hill got hurt (and will likely step in a some point) and Penn just couldn't get the job done, as he said.

This is a year to survey what's in the cupboard so we're prepared to whip up a fine three course meal (offense, starters, relievers) for next season!

I'm encouraged by the offense and bullpen, and although a last place finish is likely, I can see every team in the AL East at .500 or better this season.

I don't balme you one bit for not responding to any of the above emails. I know it's probably been a long spring for you and i bet you can't wait to sleep in your own bed again. But there is no running from the truth pete what they say is correct i know you just get tired of hearing about it. Hands down we have the worst starting pitching in the entire majors league. the fans of this town deserve better pete they deserve much better.

Pete's reply: And they'll get it next year if all goes according to plan. Who would you have signed this year? The names that were being thrown around are all hurt.

Pete, Pedro is still looking for work why is AM not interested??? He is valuable for his experience if anything.

When will Rich Hill be coming back?

Pete's reply: When he decides he wants to pitch.

It seems like NOBODY is ready to pitch for the O's. If the O's weren't going to try to win this year then why waste money on Wigginton and Hendrickson. They should have signed another starter and NOT Hendrickson whose only good for a month or so.

Too bad Looper didn't take the O's offer, as he would have been solid (not spectacular) which is what the O's need to bridge the gap until the young prospects are ready.

Pete, will the O's try Turner out at SS since we have none in the minor leagues?

Pete's reply: Not any time soon.

You telling me that Matusz, Bergensen and Arrieta aren't better off pitching here than the last three names? Give me a break. Let the young guns chuck it!

Pete's reply: Great idea. Then when they all get hammered by the Yankees and Red Sox until their confidence is shot, we can all rip the front office for rushing them.

This is a bit off topic, Pete, but what's up with Troy Patton?

Is he throwing at all this spring?

Pete's reply: Yes, he is, but he's going to stay in the minors for much of the year.

It won't be long before OSHA shuts down the bullpen citing unsafe working conditions as the RPs will be dangerously overworked.

Well, it doesn't look like a great rotation, but I think we all need to remember that the stats we are bemoaning are spring training stats. Eaton has had passable career numbers, and so has Hendrickson. And Uehara was excellent in Japan. Guthrie has been an above average pitcher for several years now and this guy Simon earned his shot with a great spring. But spring is spring. These games do not count.

Don't get me wrong. I am not EXCITED about this rotation, but I feel our bullpen may be among the best in baseball and our lineup will score tons of runs.

Not predicting 100 wins or anything, but I do think these five will keep it close enough that the bats and the bullpen can do the rest. I'll bet we win 75 games.

hard to imagine the last 3 will be in the rotation after 70 games...especially eaton and hendrickson. let's face it, the orioles should charge no more than $10.00 for any ticket for any game this year. anyone who bought season tickets this year needs to be drug-tested. and yet as bad as the pitching projects to be particulary in the first 100 games they could beat out toronto for a distant 4th place.

i agree about Bass

Pete, is there any chance that Brian Bass makes the roster?

Pete's reply: Yes.

I can start the When Will Eaton Be Released Pool. Eaton is god-awful. I would honestly rather send a mayonaise jar out to the mound.

Wouldn't it be nice to see the O's get their collective heads out of their collective butts. I see where the Nationals signed for a paltry 2 mil. Joe Beimel 5-1 2.02 era last season. How did the O's miss that one? With such frightening pitching and a 90 loss season ahead....what the hell? Such an intimidating starting rotation that easily ranks as the worst in all baseball. They better score 12 a game.


I think Uehara will pleasantly surprise. Any info on his spring training lines? Where can I get a game by game analysis? I'm thinking he's gonna have a low WHIP. Name one Oriole in the past 5 years with a low WHIP sans Guthrie. Uehara will get run support, he just has to face some really good bats. Would Uehara be a decent back of the rotation fantasy option? That is, of course, Arrieta, Tillman, and Matusz don't rescue the city....some fans are coocoo for cocoa puffs.

Pete's reply: You can go back game by game on him in the scoreboard section of He might be a steal in a fantasy draft, because I think he'll be good the first time around the league. Don't know if he's a long-term buy.


it ain't .

Pete you could probably do just as well in that five spot .

peter being a oriole fan since 63 this hands down is not even a staff , my question with all the moneythey were going to give to tex why did they not give it to garland who couldve ate up some innings ,plus young enough to be around for a few years ?eaton will be gone by middle may hendrickson will be on the dl sooner, koji will wish he never left japan,and i cant belive iam saying this i miss dcab with this staff , what could the brass be thinking .

Did I miss a report? Hill is still strengthening his arm. Unless there is a set back it appears that he will be in the rotation. The O's can go with 4 pitchers in the first series and then bring him in to start in the second week.

Jeremy Guthrie
Koji Uehara
Rich Hill
Alfredo Simon
Mark Hendrickson

Pete's reply: Don't see him coming back that quick. He hasn't pitched three innings yet.

The more important thing is the three guys we don''t see on that list. Arrieta, Tillman and Matsuz. They need there time. McPhail is the best thing to happen to this organization since Cal and that is not hyperbole.

can the offense score 8000 runs? if so we'll be at .500

Of course your predicted S L assumes Guthrie won't pull a muscle lifting his luggage on the way out of FT L, Euhara won't suddenly decide Japanese BB is more fun, Simon doesn't turn simple, Eaton doesn't realize he's still at least a year away from the bigs and Hendrikson (?), I don't know if it matters what happens to him. We can only hope (?) that "Andy the turtle" will turn a blockbuster deal like the O's turned in 1955(?) w/ the Yankees, but w/ the Cubbies instead, or maybe the Angels, or who knows.

I can see PA on the side of the road now with a cardboard sign saying "will work for Pitching."

another bs year its a joke they couldnt come up with any thing better


Peter, I think you got it all wrong. Here is the orioles 2009 rotation:

1. Jeremy Guthrie
2. Koji Uehara
3. Alfredo Simon
4. Mike Flanagan
5. Somebody the Chicago Cubs cut Saturday.

Sure, Flanny might be a little old and rusty, but all he needs are a couple of 25 pitch bullpen sessions to loosen up, and he becomes the token left-handed starter to fill out the rotation. He's a bulldog! I'd skip him the first time through the rotation since they have off days in April.

If the Cubs don't cut anyone, maybe Andy can find someone from his old twin organization - maybe Les "Moon" Straker or Kevin Tapani.

My predictions for these 5.

Guthrie should have a better year in the win/loss column because the bullpen looks much better on paper and we may be able to hold on to lead or two. I think we are better on defense which should help all of these guys.

KU will have a good first half while the league tries to figure him out. The 2nd half will tell the tale.

Simon, who knows... Unless our luck has changed, he will end up with a mid 5 era and 14 losses if he last the season.

Eaton will be released by the end of May.

Hendrickson will get off to a fast start but end the season in the bullpen or eating popcorn in his living room.

Could see double digit starters before all star break.

What a bunch of negative people. I am more excited for the O's than I have been in years. When this offseason started, we were looking for guys who could hold down the fort but not cost much money and be able to move out of the way when the prospects are ready. We got that. Roberts is signed. Markakis is signed. We've got a great offense, defense and bullpen and should have for several years. Jones, Roberts, Markakis, Wieters are all going to be around a long time. And if Pie pans out, he'll be around a long time. Ray, Sherrill, Johnson and Sarfate are going to be around. We've got D. Hernandez, Bergesen, Tillman, Arrieta, Matusz... I think things are going awesome. There is more talent around here than in many years. Go O's! Also, show up for the Yankees opening series and boo Texiera until he cries.

Sorry to see Lou go,he would have made almost any major league roster but this one.Got a feeling Penn will be picked up on waivers and figure it out for another organization.Freel and Pie were basically handed jobs by MCPhail,let's see how that plays out.Still see Pie as a less talented Corey Patterson,with poorer defense and base running instincts.My Maryland question was,making the NCAA's,with the win over Cal,the issues at UConn,not the first such either,and Williams being named Conn.player of the year,how much does this take the pressure off of Gary for next year?

Pete's reply: Now Burt, tell me all the major league rosters he would have made.

What was everyone expecting??? The Braves rotation of the 90's??? We knew going in this rotation wasn't going to be very good and would be the weak link to the team. Everyone relax. It is what it is!!!

It's a good thing nobody is panicking!

(didn't we all know the rotation was going to be a mess this season?)

We have to remember that at least three of these pitchers are simply place holders for future phenoms. However, I wonder how much of a beating this rotation will be allowed to absorb before we reach into the up-and-comers pool.

Who are the next few pitchers in line if this rotation collapses and how long do you think the FO will wait before we dip into that pool?

Thanks, Schmuck!

Pete's reply: Brad Bergesen, David Hernandez and maybe Chris Tillman.

It's a shame Penn didn't pan out. I hope he makes it through waivers because I think he still has potential, but Penn has been given all spring to show that he's ready and this was his last best shot.
This is going to be a rocky season. I have some hopes that our first 3 starters will be at least respectable, and I actually think Simon could be a hidden gem. Trembley will be leaning on the bullpen and the minors awfully hard.
It's pretty difficult to find much to be optimistic about, but the season is long and all kinds of weird things can happen. Lets hope someone steps up and surprises us this year.

On one of your other spring training updates today a guy commented that he would take the Tides in a 7 game series with the O's. Very funny but possibly very true, also. Considering the pitching staff down there along with several guys who could easily be on the big club, I'd be afraid to put any serious money on the O's with that pathetic pitching staff!



Guthrie is no better than a number 4 starter on a good team? Really? How did he end up with the 20th lowest ERA in 2008 in the 30 team major leagues? His career 3.8 ERA is almost identical to Eric Bedard's who I don't think any sensible person would argue isn't an ace, when healthy.


Off topic, but can you tell me something about what Simon throws, gun readings etc. How do you think he'll do? Appreciate it.

Pete's reply: Fastball/slider/changeup guy. Don't have gun readings, but teammates say he has great stuff. Just a matter of harnessing it. Sounds like somebody who pitched here last year.

Yikes! That's got to be the worst rotation in all of MLB, high in the running for worst in MiLB!!! Doesn't necessarilly mean that the O's won't be fun to watch this year though. Let's just all lower our expectations a bit. We can still have fun watching the offense put up some decent numbers. But if the line-up has a bad night when Eaton pitches, those 11-0 loses can be pretty demoralizing.

The thing I don't understand from a business perspective is, don't you think you would draw more fans to the yard (or more viewers on MASN) by replacing Hendrickson and Eaton in the rotation with Bergesson and Hernandez or even Bass??? Nevermind that I'm sure they would have better numbers over the course of the season, but it's just more interesting. Nobody wants to see Eaton/Hendrickson.
Just as depressing as those 11-0 loses will be those home games against the Royals or Rangers when Eaton is on the mound and you've got 2,000 or less in the stands.
So my plea to Kranitz/Trembley/McPhail/Angelos would be this: We know we're gonna lose, but that doesn't mean we're gonna give up on the team completely, please just give us something to at least be interested in.

When could David Hernandez come up? He has started 27 games for the past 3 years in the minors. I think if he can get through 3 AAA starts with a WHIP under 1.25, Trembley would be stupid not to push Hendrickson or Eaton aside to make way for my boy David!

Pete's reply: Wouldn't be surprised if you saw him by June 1.

Pete, your comment above to the perennially complaining blincione is particularly apt (like the one to Pop Rox too). What do these people expect? Whom did we fail to sign that warrants negative comments about McPhail on this situation? If Hill didn't get injured and Penn had a decent spring, people would be going on and on about how we were going to surprise everyone this year. Neither of them appears ready so we have some retreads filling spots--not a shocking development given where our young pitching stands. This is basically where I expected us to be. My only question involves Penn. Dave Johnson was advocating in the radio postgame yesterday not making decisions based on the limited snapshot of spring training and just putting young guys like Penn and Pauley, who have nothing left to prove at AAA, in the rotation over guys like Eaton and Hendrickson. He also was cautioning people on the love affair with Simon given, again, the limited glimpse DT is relying upon. I think he has a point on Penn and Pauley, but I do think Simon has earned a shot simply by outperforming everyone else. What do you think?

Pete's reply: Simon definitely earned a spot, but he also has earned some skepticism over the years.

"... which leaves just five candidates from the original list that numbered in the double digits."

It was always going to be

Wow I am impressed. You know if they freeze baseballs the morning of games it helps deaden the ball. Just thought I would offer some assistance to the coaches.

Pete, you again made excuses for this abysmal rotation by asking what other pitchers were available to sign other than Eaton and Hendrickson? Here's a list for you - Jon Garland, Oliver Perez, Randy Wolf, Randy Johnson, Jamie Moyer, Derek Lowe, and even Livan Hernandez. Only Lowe signed for a huge contract and I don't think we even tried for any of the others, longshots or not. Garland and Wolf were affordable and would be fine as 3 & 4 in our rotation. They at least haven't proven to be horrible ML pitchers the way Eaton and Hendrickson have. Why does this season have to be a total throwaway? I'm fine with waiting for the young pitchers, but just throwing cannon fodder up there this year is a joke. When Eaton and Hendrickson are getting bombed don't you think that's going to create enormous pressure to bring up a young guy and then on him when he does come up? Wouldn't it be better to give them a halfway decent team to work their way into? Oakland traded for Holliday because Billy Beane said he wanted to have a decent team to break in his young pitchers as playing for a good team is much better for their development than coming up to a bad team and I don't know why we couldn't use that philosophy. Because you never know what can happen with young pitchers. Remember when the Mets banked everything on their stud young pitchers of Paul Wilson, Bill Pulsipher, and Jason Isringhausen? They had credentials better than our young three and none of them made it with the Mets. What do we do in 2010 if Tillman gets hurt and Arrietta turns into Hayden Penn II? Give up for 2012?

Pete, Now that the Orioles have signed the young Cuban, recently defected Dicho Pinzón do you think they will put him at Norfolk for four or five starts and see if one of the three to five starters fail? Or do you think they will keep a good young arm down where he can learn?

The four basic areas of a baseball team is offense, defence starting pitching and relief pitching. It is impossible to even finish at 500 without all four. With having 3 of the 4 a team can lose 100 games, especially in the pitching dept. Unless something happens with the SP, the O's, with this staff could lose 110 games. Horror Show begins 4/9/09

Pete, No comment on the Cuban pitcher?

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dodge charger 2009 171

If you want to look on the bright side after last night's tough loss, check out last year's starting rotation vs. this year's rotation.

Night and day?

Assembled by the same guy

If someone stole your car last yr but only stole your tv this yr

Didnt you still get ripped off ?

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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