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Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #1 by osforlife » January 1st, 2013, 7:38 pm

Assuming everybody stays healthy, Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop, Darren O'Day, Troy Patton, Luis Ayala, and Tommy Hunter are all but locks. But, who gets the 7th spot? My preference would be a long reliever- Steve Johnson, Tsuyoshi Wada, TJ McFarland. The Orioles are said to be interested in Matt Lindstrom. Does DD sign a bullpen arm? Maybe Daniel Schlereth makes the team? Buck does like to have a second lefty. I don't think we should sign anybody, other than more minor league signings. Mike Bielfore, Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz, Zach Clark, Pat Egan, Chris Petrini, etc provide a good amount of depth. We could keep all three long relievers in the organization at first if McFarland makes the team, Steve Johnson goes to AAA, and Wada stays in extended ST. So...who do you think gets the last spot in the bullpen?
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #2 by ofahn » January 1st, 2013, 7:41 pm

osforlife wrote:So...who do you think gets the last spot in the bullpen?


I've been pondering the same thing, but I think there are so many variables that we won't have an answer for that question until about March 25th.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #3 by birdwatcher55 » January 1st, 2013, 8:17 pm

Could be Lindstrom from what I'm reading today on OH 8-)
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #4 by Matt P » January 2nd, 2013, 9:23 pm

I would go with a long reliever. Hammel's knee worries me even if it is healthy as I saw him twice last year have to leave a game early, Chen will be in his 2nd season and the rest of the league will have a full off season to dissect him, Tillman we all know can have a 2 inning game at anytime, Gonzalez is coming off the most innings thrown of his career, and the 5th spot as of now is going to be an unproven high talent pitcher (Britton, Matusz, Arrieta, etc.) who has not shown an ability to consistently pitch into the 7th inning.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #5 by dan72 » January 2nd, 2013, 9:30 pm

I agree that Lindstrom would get the spot if signed. I think it is also worth noting that Matusz is going to have a decision to make very soon. He can either continue his quest to be a starter or embrace the role of lefty specialist. I think he is fighting an uphill battle should he choose to compete for a starting job. So IMO it's either AAA as a starter or stay in the show and pitch from the bull pen. Financially it plays in Matusz's favor to pursue starting. Starters generally make a ton more than bullpen pitchers.

I think we have seen Troy Patton's ceiling, therefore I think it's important that we roll with 2-3 lefties. Both Matusz and Patton could go 2-3 innings if you needed to stretch them. I also feel that Ayala is the week link. Not sure if Wada and Macfarland are big league material. I think they have to prove themselves in Sring Training.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #6 by Matt P » January 2nd, 2013, 9:31 pm

dan72 wrote:I agree that Lindstrom would get the spot if signed. I think it is also worth noting that Matusz is going to have a decision to make very soon. He can either continue his quest to be a starter or embrace the role of lefty specialist. I think he is fighting an uphill battle should he choose to compete for a starting job. So IMO it's either AAA as a starter or stay in the show and pitch from the bull pen. Financially it plays in Matusz's favor to pursue starting. Starters generally make a ton more than bullpen pitchers.

I think we have seen Troy Patton's ceiling, therefore I think it's important that we roll with 2-3 lefties. Both Matusz and Patton could go 2-3 innings if you needed to stretch them. I also feel that Ayala is the week link. Not sure if Wada and Macfarland are big league material. I think they have to prove themselves in Sring Training.

Buck said he is going to come into ST as a starter. I'd imagine they will give him every chance to be a starter before converting him back to the bullpen.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #7 by dan72 » January 2nd, 2013, 9:47 pm

I have heard that as well, and I think that is only fair to Brian. Trust me I am a huge Matusz fan, I followed him through the minors where he was absolutely dominant. I can't quite figure out how his dominance at A and AA did not translate to the big leagues, having said that I think the smart move for Brian is to do whatever it takes to stay in the major leagues and help this team.
Perhaps in a hitters park he may have better success and confidence. I honestly get the impression that Buck is frustrated with Brian and would chose to move him if the opportunity was right.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #8 by ofahn » January 2nd, 2013, 9:48 pm

I think that Matusz will be given every chance to regain his form as a SP........and he'll be doing it at Norfolk.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #9 by BaltimoreSportsNut » January 3rd, 2013, 8:54 am

dan72 wrote:I have heard that as well, and I think that is only fair to Brian. Trust me I am a huge Matusz fan, I followed him through the minors where he was absolutely dominant. I can't quite figure out how his dominance at A and AA did not translate to the big leagues, having said that I think the smart move for Brian is to do whatever it takes to stay in the major leagues and help this team.
Perhaps in a hitters park he may have better success and confidence. I honestly get the impression that Buck is frustrated with Brian and would chose to move him if the opportunity was right.


I think everyone is frustrated with Matusz, I know I am. I am sick and tired of hearing the word "potential" with him. He has been around long enough that potential should have shown its head by now. Having said that, I loved how he did in the bullpen. I think it just relaxed him, and he focused on one batter at a time, as opposed to focusing on throwing six innings. I would like to see Brian moved to the bullpen right away, as it would give us youth and another lefty in the bullpen. This team needs to have two lefties in the bullpen so Buck can play matchups much more frequently than he could last year when Patton was the only lefty in the pen.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #10 by thezeroes » January 3rd, 2013, 10:41 am

It is my thought process that if you are thinking of having a pitcher start at any level during a season that you should be training him to do so from mid-winter programs through Spring Training. This is what the Orioles had done with Jim Johnson, Alfredo Simon, Troy Patton, etc ... in years past. It is easier to reschedule these potential starters work load in preparation for the bullpen if they have been stretched out to become a starter then to do the reverse. If you use them in Spring Training as a reliever and then try to stretch them into a starter the development process may take you past Spring Training and into the Regular Season which could/would leave you with the Jakubauskas and Van Der Burks of the world.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #11 by birdwatcher55 » January 3rd, 2013, 2:43 pm

I would hope we have learned our lesson and put Matusz in a postion to succeed (set-up) and not fail (starter). 8-)
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #12 by LA Detective » January 3rd, 2013, 9:48 pm

I think this is a spot that will change often....

I believe you take the best 25 but I hope someone emerges that would enable SJohnson to go to AAA and build up innings to be used as a starter. I like the Lindstrom signing if it happens. He has a very live arm. Just more depth. I also would like to see a couple of O'Day or Neshek types signed that are trying to revive their career and has had past success. I am sure DD/Buck have a few players in mind.

Yes Ayala is the weak link but were doing good if he is our worst guy. He is a guy we would have no problem using alot in the right and sometimes less important situations. If he tires at some point he is replacable by several.

By June or July I think it could be any of our starters in AAA up.

Best case is that by June, Wada is everything we signed him for but there is no room in the rotation. He then becomes the 2nd lefty in the pen.

Matusz is my suprise pitcher of the year (if you want to call it a suprise). I really believe he will make that step. If we don't sign a FA then I think he will win the 5th spot.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #13 by Seafordeagles » January 3rd, 2013, 10:06 pm

LA Detective wrote:Matusz is my suprise pitcher of the year (if you want to call it a suprise). I really believe he will make that step. If we don't sign a FA then I think he will win the 5th spot.


I think the potential in the eyes of Duquette of Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman, and Britton is why Saunders hasn't been signed. It also saves money because those 4 guys together probably won't make as much as Saunders does in one season.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #14 by osforlife » January 3rd, 2013, 10:19 pm

In all respect for the dude, I hope Matusz doesn't have to start for us for any extended amount of time. I'd put our starting rotation depth at:
1. Jason Hammel
2. Wei Yen Chen
3. Chris Tillman
4. Miguel Gonzalez
5. FA (Joe Saunders?, Shaun Marcum?)
6. Steve Johnson
7. Tsuyoshi Wada
8. Zach Britton
9. Jake Arrieta
10. Brian Matusz
11. Dylan Bundy
12. Kevin Gausman.
I'd be pleased to know Arrieta, Matusz, Britton, Bundy, and Gausman got a full year starting in the minors. But I'am also aware just about all of them could be helping out in the bullpen at some point.
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Re: Who wins the 7th spot in the bullpen?

PostPost #15 by LA Detective » January 4th, 2013, 4:00 pm

I think most would agree with your list at #1,2,11 &12 but if a poll was conducted, #3-10 would come out about 50 different ways. I think it would be that way if all 29 other GMs around the league did the list.

One it shows our great depth but I really believe one of the most important things the Os do is how they evaluate 3-10 for the future. I would really be interested to see the Buck/DD list compiled from their observations and inside input from RickP, minor league coaches and our own scouts.

I think it will be one of the most fun things to watch is how this list aboves moves around in the spring and thru the year and how quick #11 and #12 move up.
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