The Baltimore Orioles’ bullpen has been a bit of an issue all year, with different players struggling and a weak middle. Now, it is a major issue.
Let’s lay it out there, the Baltimore Orioles’ bullpen this year has been very uneven.
Now, now it is a dumpster fire.
That’s not good. Frankly, it is terrible.
Brach and Givens, no issues there. In fact, Givens is tied for seventh in the American League in wins as a reliever. And, his ERA is 2.70.
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Brach has had some issues, mainly all in one week, but he has been good as well.
Zach Britton is injured and probably a few weeks from returning, however all seems to be going well in his rehab.
Now, Darren O’Day is on the disabled list. He will likely be back at the end of his stint on the DL, but no guarantee there.
Bleier was just acquired this year and is the third most reliable reliever in the bullpen. Bleier has appeared in 12 games and has a 2.16 ERA.
Wright has shown signs of being a good reliever, but at this point he is a failed starter. He has a 5.40 ERA.
Crichton is completely overmatched in the major leagues at this point. I don’t know if he isn’t a major leaguers, or needs more seasoning at AAA, but it hasn’t been good. He has an ERA of 7.45 and a batting average against of .455.
Ubaldo has struggled in the first inning of all of his relief appearances. He has then got it back together, but when you come in as a long reliever, you need to stop the bleeding and keep the score where it is. Instead, Jimenez has put the team in bigger holes when he comes in.
Then there is Edwin Jackson. I was a fan of letting him come up and see what he could do. We now know what he can do, and it isn’t major-league caliber. He has appeared in two games, allowing two home runs and only two earned runs, but five runs total. And, the unearned runs were on an error made by Jackson.
So, how do you fix the bullpen? That is a tough question, especially until you get O’Day and Britton back.
First, and I cringe as I say this, but if Ubaldo Jimenez isn’t going to be released, you have to put him in the rotation. When he comes in relief he only hurts the team. It isn’t working.
If you put him in the rotation, that moves Alec Asher back to the bullpen, where he did a really good job. He has had some good starts as well, but also some bad (and short) ones.
Stefan Crichton shouldn’t be in the Orioles’ bullpen again this year. Logan Verrett should be. I know the Orioles want to keep him in the minors so he can start, but the team needs help.
So, my bullpen is Brach, Givens, Bleier, Wright, Asher, Verrett. Still need another arm. In order to not break up other guys who are starting in AAA, such as Gabriel Ynoa or Jordan Kipper, I would bring Donnie Hart back when he is eligible. Until that point, I would continue to use Edwin Jackson, and hope you can hide him.
The Orioles are a team that knows they don’t have a lot of wiggle room, and the offense is scuffling. If they really want to win now, they need to make tough decisions. That means getting rid of dead weight, like Jackson and Jimenez. These guys have shown nothing and nearly nothing respectively.
If the team is about keeping it together and hoping it works out, then it is going to be a very stressful and frustrating season for Oriole fans.