Stan "The Fan" Charles' What Ifs For The Orioles' Rotation

Posted on August 25, 2014 by Stan 'The Fan' Charles

I already said last week that I think Baltimore Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace is the team's best offseason acquisition.

Now, I'm going to go one step further and offer up a few what ifs that I have been mulling over ever since watching the Orioles' Aug. 22-24 series against the Chicago Cubs.

If we can all agree that Wallace is a huge improvement over his predecessors of Rick Adair and Bill Castro, then my question becomes: what might the Orioles' rotation look like today had Wallace been in place since 2011? The Orioles might not have traded Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Cubs for Scott Feldman in July 2013. In the case, they probably would not have needed to acquire a Feldman-type pitcher, because they would have had the real Arrieta we've seen this year -- a 2.53 ERA and 127 strikeouts.

Jake Arrieta

Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer/PressBox

On a slightly lesser level, Cubs reliever Pedro Strop, who struggled mightily at the tail end of 2012 and throughout his 2013 time in an Orioles uniform, has also rediscovered what went out of whack in Baltimore.

Adair originally came to work as the bullpen coach in 2011, Showalter's first full season. He was more or less the personal choice of Mark Connor, who replaced Rick Kranitz during that same offseason. Connor pushed for Adair, the same way current O's pitching coach Dave Wallace pushed for his man Dom Chiti to be hired as the bullpen coach.

While Adair might have made sense as a bullpen coach, he didn't deliver on developing the Orioles' young starters. Just look at the improvement starting pitchers Wei-Yin Chen and Bud Norris have made this season under Wallace's guidance. 

And while Chris Tillman made giant strides during the Adair years, he actually had his delivery refined by Norfolk pitching coach, Mike Griffin and the club's organizational pitching coach, Rick Peterson.

Ubaldo Jimenez sticks out as the one pitcher Wallace has been unable to improve during their first season together. But I can't help but wonder, if the Orioles still had Arrieta in place, maybe executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette wouldn't have felt compelled to gamble $50 million on Jimenez.

I certainly wouldn't mind having Arrieta taking the mound for the Birds every five games … not to mention the extra millions in the coffers.

See Also:

next up:

Bernard Pierce Not Practicing For Ravens, But Owen Daniels Returns

August 25, 2014

Ravens running back Bernard Pierce was not on the practice field Aug. 28, but Owen Daniels was back and Jimmy Smith was running the sideline.

Advertisement

Baltimore Top Stories

Edsall Thanks Seniors

On Nov. 29, the Terps will honor a senior class that has positioned them for success.

NON-TENDER CANDIDATES?

Will the O's tender contracts to Chris Davis, Alejandro De Aza, Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz?

FANTASY FOOTBALL

Ken Zalis shares his fantasy football starts, picks and sleepers for Week 13.

Ravens 34, Saints 27

The bye-rested Ravens used a bruising running game to wear down the Saints, 34-27.

RED SOX PUT AL ON NOTICE

Stan 'The Fan' Charles says Red Sox deals could change Orioles' negotiations with Cruz, Markakis.

FIVE THINGS: TIM BERRY

Pitcher Tim Berry has risen from obscurity to become the No. 7 prospect in the Orioles' system.

Advertisement

Get PressBox's Free Weekly Newsletter

Email:

For Sports Fans

Pregame With PressBox

Pregame with PressBox at the Purple Underground before every Baltimore home game.

Cooking With The Pros

Enjoy a mix of cooking and sports as you learn tailgating recipes alongside the pros.

Lacrosse Newsletter

Sign up for our high school lacrosse email, with interviews, matchups, recruiting and more.

Advertisement
x