Orioles: David Lough & Jeremy Guthrie in Opposite Dugouts


Jun 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Baltimore Orioles left fielder David Lough (9) looks to the outfield on his way for a double against the Texas Rangers during a baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

As the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals prepare for their best-of-seven American League Championship Series, there has to be a sort of odd feeling about it for one of the players in each dugout. Both Jeremy Guthrie and David Lough will be competing in their first playoffs and looking across the field at the teams with whom they have each spent greater time.

It is not unusual for this to happen, in that players are often traded and end up competing against former organizations and teammates. It takes a pen and paper and multitude of charts and graphs to track the experiences of Delmon Young and Nelson Cruz in this regard.

In the Divisional Series, Lough only played in one game and had one at-bat for the Orioles, whereas Guthrie has yet to appear. That probably won’t be true for either in this longer series.

Jeremy Guthrie had five fairly successful years with the Baltimore Orioles, though a quick glance at his statistics might suggest otherwise with his cumulative 47-65 record. But his 4.12 ERA with the Birds is not abysmal, and he averaged 194 innings per season. Pitching during some of the toughest years of reconstruction, Guthrie was over and over the victim of pitiful run support.

Perhaps one of the nicest human beings to ever wear a Baltimore Orioles uniform, he was traded before the 2012 season to the Colorado Rockies for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. Why the Rockies would have done this has never made sense, in that Guthrie is a fly-ball pitcher. And sure enough, after 15 starts with a 3-9 record and 6.35 ERA, he ended up midseason in Kansas City.

For the Royals, Guthrie has done what Guthrie does best – he eats up innings, giving them 414 of them over the past two seasons. He is a back-of-the-rotation piece that helps a team not have to burn up their bullpen. Pitching in KC’s expansive stadium, he has an ERA with the Royals of 3.92.

Even though he is the only Royals starter over a 4.00 ERA this year (4.13), the reason the Orioles may see him in some form or fashion is that he has pitched well against his old team. In five career starts, Guthrie is 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA against the Orioles. Factoring everything together, he is most likely to be seen pitching in Kansas City.

David Lough came to the Orioles this past offseason in a trade for Danny Valencia. Presumed to be the probable most-used player in left field, he got off to a bad start on the season. It appeared that a lingering concussion-like malady had more of an effect than originally suspected.

But Lough improved in his opportunities as the year went by. Here are his splits over the season …

1st Half6311723.197
2nd Half495720.351

Lough’s total at-bats with the Royals are more than double what they have been with the Orioles. There he had 374 at-bats with a .278 average. Lough really got lost a bit in the depth of the Orioles outfield this year, and without regular or consistent playing time was not likely able to produce as hoped or expected.

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Against the Royals, he was only 3-for-22, including seven strikeouts. But all of that was back at the beginning of the season when he was struggling much more.

But it must be gratifying for each to see not only their current team, but also their former team, enjoying postseason success after being a part of the building process for both. And one of them is going to get to the World Series.