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April 1, 2009

Guthrie: Concern warranted

In his final start before Opening Day, Jeremy Guthrie just gave up eight runs and 10 hits to the Florida Marlins, raising his spring ERA to 10.57. If you add in his World Baseball Classic statistics, he has pitched 19 innings, allowed 47 baserunners and has a combined ERA of 12.32.

This is getting a little scary.

Guthrie even acknowledged afterward that there is cause for concern, though he says that he feels OK and is looking forward to Monday's season-opening start against the New York Yankees.

"Yeah, certainly you should be concerned,'' he said. "I haven't gotten anybody out ... I can't seem to get any breaks. Some good pitches are getting hit and all the bad ones are getting hit.

"I, personally, am not going to be concerned, but that's not ignoring the performance. I'd like to be in a better spot, but as far as my pitches are concerned, I feel I'm close."

He also conceded that his velocity is down "a couple" from last year, which should raise some red flags about his mechanics, if not the overall health of his arm.

Guthrie didn't rule out the possible ill effects of pitching for Team USA, but said he had no regrets about taking part in the WBC.

"My preparation hasn't gone well,'' he said, "but I would do that again 100 out of 100 times with the same results. If I had pitched well in the WBC, I would have gotten my work in. But it's Jeremy Guthrie, not the WBC."

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 2:42 PM | | Comments (18)


Getting scary? This has been a fright show from the beginning. Our #1 guy, who was placed in that role before anyone threw a pitch in spring training, has gotten his brains beat out everytime out so far. Our #2 is widely regarded as a great middle man who will be unlikely to hold up as a starter, Our #3 is a virtual unknown, and our #4 and #5 guys have shown little to make us comofortable with them all spring.
I don't remember ever going into a season feeling so dejected about our pitching. I usually at least start out somewhat optimistic, only to have reality crammed down my throat as the season unfolds. This year I just shake my head. The O's pitching is going to get shredded this year. We blew out the BP by about the All Star break last year, they'll have their arms hanging on by threads by mid june this year.
This is going to be a looooong season.

Well done, Peter, well done indeed.

That April Fool's headline sure had me worrying for a minute.

Now, give us the real box score. Something like: Guthrie went 5 strong innings, giving up only 2 hits and a walk and while striking out 8.


Steve Severn
Amarillo, TX

Amazing. Is he hurt? I think he has to be hurt, or he's the second coming of Josh Towers... I've watched him in the WBC and the balls they are hitting are HARD!!! No bloop singles, he is getting HIT! Since he is pitching so poorly does Trembley/McPhail have intentions of giving his rotation spot to a minor league journeyman with a career 6.5 ERA, and trading him for a worthless utility infielder?

Combined era of 12.32 and he feels like he's close.... Dayum, I'd hate to see what he would look like if he wasn't.

I mentioned a while ago about Gomez no longer being able to play SS (lack of range and arm isn't what it was) and you seemed to think otherwise, I guess this trade and MacPhail's comments showed the lack of confidence in Gomez. (although I'm not sure if it is ever good being on the same side as Orioles decisions, lol).

Guthrie is a huge issue. ST for veterans isn't as big of a deal but he hasn't had any solid outings and throw in velocity issues and it is a big red flag.
Of course when Guthie is a #1 on your staff you already have issues. He is a solid pitcher but has yet to pitch 200 innings or finish a season.

From Jayson Stark, we're not the only ones:

CROOKED-NUMBER BOX-SCORE LINES YOU CAN'T MISS: Tampa Bay ace James Shields became the third opening-day starter this spring to give up double figures, with this clunker Friday versus the Twins: 4 1/3 IP, 12 H, 11 R, 11 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 3 HR. To get 13 outs, Shields needed 92 pitches -- "it seemed like 255," he told the St. Petersburg Times' Marc Topkin.

Colorado's Jason Marquis had this Coors-esque line Wednesday against the Angels:

3 1/3 IP, 10 H, 12 R, 11 ER, 4 BB, 1 K

Yeah this is getting a little scary now with the amount of runs being scored off of him so far this spring. This is not like him at all.


Be honest with me here. Do you think that this year's team will break pitching records for futility? I mean, an ERA >10 for our opening day starter? Seriously, we may break records for most consecutive series lost to begin a season and have one of the worst staffs in the history of the MLB. Your thoughts Schmuckers preserves?

I also do not agree one bit with the Penn trade. You know you're getting a slick fielding SS who can not hit worth a darn, but you're giving up someone who still has a chance to develop into a solid pitcher.

All we can do as a fanbase is pray that Bergs, Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman and co. turn out to be legitimate starters. Otherwise, we truly are in for another decade+ of futility.

Below I link to a January 2007 Kubatko blog when Roch was still with The Sun.

The interesting comment is at the bottom, talking about what eventually led to Guthrie being designated for assignment from Cleveland:

"Though he didn't say it, some Orioles officials are aware that Guthrie's confidence begins to crumble as soon as he starts to struggle, and that's something that has held him back."

This has been a horrible Spring Training where Guthrie has been constantly lit-up… (after allowing 8 runs and 10 hits today, his Spring ERA is 10.57… if you include the WBC numbers… he has pitched 19 innings, and has a combined ERA of 12.32.)

After two successful seasons in the Majors, I hope Guthrie has a higher degree of self-confidence at this point.

On April 8th, he turns 30 years-old..

2007 - 175.1 IP, 165 hits, 123 k's, 47 walks, 23 homers, 711 OPS, 1.21 G/F
2008 - 190.2 IP, 176 hits, 120 k's, 58 walks, 24 homers, 693 OPS, 1.17 G/F

He has 56 career starts as an Oriole...
0 earned runs allowed - 2 times
1 earned run allowed - 17 times
2 earned runs allowed - 13 times
3 earned runs allowed - 11 times
4 earned runs allowed - 5 times
5 earned runs allowed - 6 times
6 earned runs allowed - 1 time
7 earned runs allowed - 1 time

If he is healthy, I believe he will be fine… but his confidence is something to watch.

Will break: Fair comments about Penn, but he knew the score this spring and was given more than a fair chance to win a spot. He took the mound Tuesday fully aware of what he needed to do and aware of what Alfredo Simon had done the night before to sew up a deserved spot in the rotation. At least the O's got a body for Penn as opposed to tossing him into the waiver barrel and getting zip.
Living in S. Florida I've seen Andino; don't overstate his role, he's a caddy for Cesar, nothing more. The Marlins were able to make this deal without sweat thanks to Emilio Bonifacio's surprise spring.

Mr. Schmuck,
I've got to tell you, I am confused by this Penn trade. The O's gave DCab years to try to figure his stuff out. He didn't have nearly as many freak obstacles as Penn.

They've invested this much time in the kid already. This is a season w/o expectations. Let Penn pitch for a few real starts to see if he can get it together. What do we have to lose?

I don't get the logic:
Penn didn't win a spot with his performance. He got sent away.

Pie, Zaun, Moeller, Scott, Freel probably didn't win a spot w/ their performance. But Montanez, Reimold, Weiters got sent away.

MacPhail has traded a weakness of the team in order to supplement what was already considered a strength.

Or does this mean that Izturis isn't as good as advertised?
Or Roberts is still on the trade block?

I'm hoping MacPhail is right on this one, but I'm afraid 6 weeks from now the team will be screaming for a 13th pitcher (or won't have enough healthy arms for 12)

Pete's reply: I think you answered your own question. You want them to do the same things they did with Cabrera? That would mean continuing to manage the organization the same way they used to. No thanks.

I'm petrified.

It seems that with every move the Orioles make, the hand-wringers start back up again. I wonder how MacPhail even got the job, seeing as so many experts think he's incompetent.

Pedro is looking better all the time

Guthrie is a middle-of-the road pitcher on the majority of the good O's teams. Right now, he's the 'ace' by default and of course, we should be concerned to some degree if he gets lit up in the regular season. However, I'm more concerned about having journeymen like Eaton and Hendrickson in our rotation, not to mention giving a spot to a guy like Simon who pitched 10 innings...
As far as the Penn deal, what has he done to warrant yet another chance? Sure, he's young but he's failed everywhere so sometimes you have to cut your 'losses'. We didn't get much back but the team would suffer worse by sending him every 5th day.
Where are all the arms??? We started the spring with 37 and the best we can come up with is a rotation full of ????

Year after year,the Orioles have a habit of keeping a pitcher who won the most games for them the year before,and banking on him just to find out it was a fluke.Hopefully Gutherie will be an acception.This is the same ole same ole.


Why all the clamor about Hayden Penn who did NOTHING to distiquish himself the last 3 years in the minors. What does everyone on this blog feel the Birds owe him? In fact both Gerritt Olson and Daniel Cabrera had more limited success than Penn had in AAA. While Cabrera was a money issue, Olson was much more deserving of a better fate than Penn! I can only think of Maine as a pitcher we got rid of that has actually distinquished himself in recent years. I believe we have much bigger problems than worrying about the upside of Hayden Penn!

Hey Pete!

Folks here are worried about watching the pitchers? They should look on the bright side. Your readers don't have to be on the field behind them. I think the outfielder should wear gloves on both hands and the infielder should wear batting helmets (the pitchers should invest in goalie masks). Play deep and cut across!

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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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