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The Baltimore Orioles and Fleeting Bullpen Greatness

The Baltimore Orioles and Fleeting Bullpen Greatness

PostPost #1 by A_K » February 14th, 2013, 10:39 am

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.ph ... greatness/

The Baltimore Orioles and Fleeting Bullpen Greatness
by Jack Moore - February 14, 2013

Over-Under Day — the day the first sportsbooks release their win-loss over-under totals for all 30 MLB teams — is one of my favorite days of the lead-in to baseball season. I’m not much of a gambler — I stick to risking my money on fantasy sports, personally — but Las Vegas is as good a projection system as we have, and although the numbers here will likely be revised between now and Opening Day, they provide as good a barometer for current team strength as you’ll find anywhere.

The Orioles, unsurprisingly, have the biggest drop-off from last year’s win total to this year’s over-under — 93 wins in 2012 to just a 76.5 over-under for 2013. Should Baltimore perform to Vegas’s projection, it will be just another example of the fleeting greatness of particularly clutch units, like the Orioles’ 2012 bullpen.


The idea of fleeting greatness is nothing new, of course. For example, only three of last season’s eight playoff squads from 2011 reached the postseason in 2012 despite the expanded format. Specifically, though, Baltimore’s greatness came on the back of a great — and particularly great in the clutch — bullpen. This greatness has, in the past, been the toughest to cling to. Baltimore’s plus-13.86 WPA in 2012 was the highest mark a bullpen has posted since 1974 (the extent of our data); its plus-7.19 clutch score was the highest recorded as well.

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Re: The Baltimore Orioles and Fleeting Bullpen Greatness

PostPost #2 by birdwatcher55 » February 14th, 2013, 12:50 pm

Some thoughts:
-- There was a time when 76 wins looked good :lol:
-- I think DD is staying ahead of the curve here by adding organizational depth in the event some of last year's heroes suffer injuries or non-production.
-- Personally I'd like to think we can be "one of those three" teams to be in the playoff mix again because we have a GM who will be aggressive (see above).
-- Lastly a more stablized rotation would likely put less stress on the pen. I think our starting rotation is potentially in the best shape it has been in quite a few years.
8-)
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Re: The Baltimore Orioles and Fleeting Bullpen Greatness

PostPost #3 by ofahn » February 14th, 2013, 2:14 pm

You know, it's a well written article and this writer is entitled to his opinion; but I have learned that winter prognostication has nothing to do with October standings.

We had good luck (you can call it clutch) and bad luck last year. Our RISP numbers last year were HORRIBLE. Just a 20% improvement on those numbers would cover a reasonable return to the norm for the bullpen.

I see our record in 2013 being controlled by these factors and in this order:

• the maturation of our young pitchers
• the maturation of our three, four, five, and six hitters
• the quality of the other teams in our division
• the number of significant injuries to key players

If we get good grades on at least two of those factors we should be looking at a winning season; three and we're talking about 90+ wins; and all four and we'll be a lock for the playoffs.
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Re: The Baltimore Orioles and Fleeting Bullpen Greatness

PostPost #4 by OriolesRedskins28 » February 14th, 2013, 5:46 pm

Agree with everything you wrote ofahn, well said. The only reason I can think of for all of these negative outlooks on the O's 2013 potential is that they are coming from people who didn't follow the team closely last year. They look at the bullpen numbers and chalk it up to luck.

What they fail to realize is that last years team got MUCH better in the last third of the season. The introduction of Miguel Gonzalez and Manny Machado (and even Nate Mclouth) as well as Markakis' return from his mid season injury were huge boosts to the club and were big reasons why they were able to make a push into the playoffs despite losing Markakis late in the season and going through a long stretch without their best starting pitcher Jason Hammel.

Reimold, Markakis, and Hammel will all be healthy to start the season. The starting pitching depth is much improved from this time last year. Having Machado from day one will help, having Nate Mclouth from day one helps, especially with depth (no more Endy Chavez thank god). There's even the strong possibility that Dylan Bundy and/or Kevin Gausman will make an impact at some point.

Lots of reasons to feel good about the upcoming season. It almost seems like the prognosticators deliberately overlook them...
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Re: The Baltimore Orioles and Fleeting Bullpen Greatness

PostPost #5 by Old Sneakers » February 14th, 2013, 6:03 pm

It will be fun to watch it play out. Though I still suspect the strength of the starting rotation is the best barometer of how well the team fairs.
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Re: The Baltimore Orioles and Fleeting Bullpen Greatness

PostPost #6 by birdwatcher55 » February 15th, 2013, 3:31 pm

I'd like to see deeper outings by the starters and thus less stress on the bullpen 8-)
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