The Outstanding Bullpen Strength of the Baltimore Orioles

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The Baltimore Orioles have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball, and with uncertainties in the rotation and daily lineup, it is the strength of the team.

The value of a strong bullpen, especially in the late innings, has been displayed repeatedly over the past several years. It was seen as well in Baltimore in 2012 with all of the one-run victories, and it was evident with excellence again in 2014 and 2015. The late-season breakdown of the bullpen in 2013 demonstrates how everything can fall apart when relief fails.

So it is a great asset for the Orioles to have a relief corps that can turn from one dependable arm to another after the rotation starter is out of the game. You can never have too many relievers in the organization, and this is true especially when the starters have the annoying regular habit of not getting deep into games. Middle innings relievers with options are especially valuable when the best-laid pitching plans go awry.

But the great reality for the Orioles is that, barring unusual setbacks or debilitating injuries, the O’s are fairly well set in the bullpen for much more than just the coming season.

Consider the number of MLB service years (including 2016) that remain before the following players become a free agent: Zach Britton – 3, Darren O’Day – 4, Brad Brach – 3, Mychal Givens – 6, Brian Matusz – 1, T.J. McFarland – 4, Chaz Roe – 5, Oliver Drake – 6, Jason Garcia – 5.  And this list does not include current players who are slated to be starters but who might become relievers eventually.

So let’s look through the Orioles bullpen in the following three slides by seeing the main core of relievers, the secondary players, and finally the next wave coming over the horizon. It is a very encouraging read for the middle of winter!

Next: Nothing shabby about the O's 1-2-3 out of the pen...