Baltimore Orioles: Joe Saunders? Chris Capuano?

It was written on the MLB Trade Rumors page on Saturday that the Baltimore Orioles were in discussions with two free agents: Chris Capuano and Joe Saunders. This is according to tweets from Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

The veracity of any of these reports is speculative at best, but it certainly fits the pattern of the grim narrative of this offseason. No Matt Garza or anyone of that caliber … and apparently no A.J. Burnett who is reported to desire to stay in the National League. Bronson Arroyo is gone to the Diamondbacks, who, yes, play in the National League. (There has been a theme developing on this topic in recent days.)  The remaining possibilities – Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana – are being pretty much eliminated by the combination of the costs and the admittedly strong argument of not giving up a valuable draft pick.

So … it is go with what is in hand, or, it comes down to the pitchers such as referenced in this report.

If the Orioles could have the Joe Saunders that pitched for them in seven games at the end of 2012, and if he could sustain that for 30 starts, that would be an innings-eating answer of 191 with an ERA of 3.63. However, the Northern Virginia native pitched 183 innings last year for Seattle to an ERA of 5.26.  His average start was therefore 5.2 innings. The Orioles already have guys who do that … that’s the problem.

Joe Saunders statistics 2012-2013 …

Year

Age

Tm

Lg

W

L

ERA

G

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

IBB

SO

WHIP

H/9

HR/9

BB/9

SO/9

2012

31

ARI NL

6

10

4.22

21

130.0

146

68

61

17

31

1

89

1.362

10.1

1.2

2.1

6.2

2012

31

BAL AL

3

3

3.63

7

44.2

49

20

18

4

8

1

23

1.276

9.9

0.8

1.6

4.6

2013

32

SEA AL

11

16

5.26

32

183.0

232

117

107

25

61

5

107

1.601

11.4

1.2

3.0

5.3

 

Chris Capauno has only ever played in the National League where he has a career record of 74-83 with a 4.27 ERA. Again, if the Capauno of 2012 (rather than the guy of last year) were to play at that level, it would be something of an innings-eating answer. Two seasons ago he pitched 198.1 innings for the Dodgers, averaging 6.0 innings a start.

Chris Capauno statistics 2012-2013 …

Year

Age

Tm

Lg

W

L

ERA

G

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

IBB

SO

WHIP

H/9

HR/9

BB/9

SO/9

2012

33

LAD NL

12

12

3.72

33

198.1

188

91

82

25

54

4

162

1.220

8.5

1.1

2.5

7.4

2013

34

LAD NL

4

7

4.26

24

105.2

125

57

50

11

24

5

81

1.410

10.6

0.9

2.0

6.9

 

So, there are no easy or firm answers. If the Orioles were to get one of these guys at an inexpensive price and see if they can re-create themselves in a new place, it might work. Though honestly, the chances of that happening are probably about one in three, I’d guess.

Former Braves and Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone used to preach to the guys to make it a regular goal to get 20 outs … so 6.2 innings. That sets up a specialist for a third out in the seventh, a set-up man for the eight, and a closeout guy for the ninth inning. Of course, the devil is in the details; the wisdom is clear, but the execution is difficult.

Topics: Baltimore Orioles, Chris Capuano, Joe Saunders

Want more from The Baltimore Wire?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
Join The Discussion

LIVEFeed More LOCAL news from the Fansided Network

Hot on the Web From golf.com