||Bricks from the Warehouse|
Orioles First Trimester Report Card - Part Two
This is a continuation of our previous report card, which focused on the hitters. This
one focuses on the pitching staff. As we explained before, we tried to
judge players based on their overall seasons, rather than based on
expectations for the player. A bad player who does slightly less badly than
predicted doesn't get credit from us for exceeding projections. Keep in
mind that this is all in fun; there's no grand system behind our
- John Bale: Inc. No point in
rating a guy based on 2 games.
- Buddy Groom: B+/A-. This may
even be harsh. He has a 4.01 ERA, which is good but not great. But he's
done everything else well. He's allowed 2 HRs in 28 appearances, has
struck out 24 and walked just 4, and has allowed only 3 of 29 inherited
runners to score. The way he's used, he can't be that valuable -- pitching
less than one inning/outing -- but that's not his fault, and he's very good at
what he does.
- Pat Hentgen: A. Sort of. A for
performance -- he was among the league leaders when he pitched. But
he's missed five starts already, and you can't help a team if you don't play.
And we don't know how many more starts he'll miss.
- Jason Johnson: A+. Overall,
he's the team's best pitcher. He leads starters (other than the suddenly
brilliant Josh Towers) in ERA and IP. His poor strikeout rate (48 in 86
innings) is a little troublesome. But he's getting the job done, in spades.
He's fifth in the AL in ERA.
- Jorge Julio: I. Pitched terribly,
but 1.1 IP aren't much of a sample.
- Ryan Kohlmeier: F. He didn't
blow many saves, but that has something to do with the fact that Hargrove
stopped giving him save opportunities. He's lost his closer role, and he's
probably in danger of losing his roster slot. ERAs in the 8s tend to create
that risk. There's nothing good you can say about his season so
- Calvin Maduro: I/C. Rodney
Dangerfield. Doesn't matter what he does; he'll always be the last guy
called up and the first guy sent down. He got a brief stay (4 G, 7.1 IP) and
didn't do much with it (4.91 ERA, 12 baserunners in those 7.1 IP), but it's
not much of a test. He's not some kind of potential star, but he gets less
of an opportunity than he deserves. (Also note that he's not some 30-year
old who's been bouncing around the farm for the last decade. He's the
same age as Willis Roberts, who hasn't been written off as a career
minor leaguer by the organization.)
- Chuck McElroy: D-. I'd have
scored it an F, except that (a) it's not his fault he was used as a starter,
and (b) compared to Kohlmeier, he is a Cy Young winner. As a starter, he
was awful. He averaged less than 5 innings per start, and had an ERA
over 6. As a reliever, he has done superficially better (a 2.45 ERA). Still,
his control is poor even as a reliever (10 walks in 18 IP) and he's given up
a bunch of baserunners (over 14/9 IP). And he has allowed 7 of 17 (41%)
inherited runners to score. The big problem? Mike Hargrove doesn't
seem to know that he's alive. Until the recent bullpen implosion in
Philadelphia, he had been appearing once a week, or less.
- Jose Mercedes: D+. Blechh.
BaseballProspectus.com rates him as one of the most consistent
starters in the majors. Consistency is only good when you're a good
player. When you're a bad player, consistency is something to strive to
avoid. He's pitched a lot of innings, but that's about the only good thing
you can say about him and his 5.97 ERA and .304 Opponents' Batting
- Chad Paronto: D. Hit hard.
Maduro would kill for as much of an opportunity as Paronto was given. 16
games, 17.2 IP, and he pitched badly. 5.60 ERA, 30 baserunners, only 10
Ks and a 10-7 K/BB ratio. He's never been anything more than mediocre
in the minors, doing just enough to keep moving up while not enough to
make himself look good, and it shows when he's facing major
- John Parrish: I. 5 IP. Lucky for
him he squeaks by with an incomplete, because he has pitched terribly.
(6 walks in those 5 innings, a 9 ERA.)
- Sidney Ponson: B. He's only
had one terrible start all year, in early April, and he appears to be getting
stronger as the season continues, as he seems to have fully recovered
from his stint on the DL. His last few starts have been excellent. We'd
just like to see him string together 3 or 4 more good starts in a row.
- Willis Roberts: D+. He has had
just enough good starts that he gets the "+", despite his 6.01 ERA. But
most of his good starts were early in the season against weak opponents
like Tampa, so we'll stick with the "D." He's not getting better as the
season goes along. His April ERA was 1.95; as a starter it was 2.37. In
May, it was 8.07. In June, 6.52. We can't figure out why anybody thought
he'd work out.
- B.J. Ryan: C. Loads of
baserunners (49 in 28.2 IP) and a 5.34 ERA. The only good thing: he has
been solid at stranding inherited runners. He's just lucky that the pitching
staff has bigger problems, like the other Ryan (Kohlmeier) and Willis, so
they don't have time to worry about him.
- Josh Towers: A+. It might be
slightly premature, but what the heck? There are a million caveats -- first
time around the league, only a handful of starts, etc. -- but he's got more
IP than a lot of the other guys I rated, so why not? His low K-rate is a little
worrisome, but so far, he's doing everything else right.
- Mike Trombley: A. Has become
the de facto closer. He had been pretty unhittable, but he has blown two
saves in the last two weeks (after having blown none all year). He leads
the team in appearances and relief innings, and trails only Buddy Groom
in stranding inherited runners. His arm may be blown out by season's
end, but for now, he gets the top grade.
As always, all comments -- positive and negative -- are welcome, so
feel free to email us your
© 2001 The Orioles Warehouse
Skilled professional. Do not try this at home.
Last Updated: June 20, 2001