01 February 2018

How Does A Gausman/Bundy 1-2 Punch Stack Up?

Let's assume the Orioles actually plan to begin the 2018 season with Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy as their top two starting pitchers. It can't be stated enough times that the Orioles need major starting rotation help, but forget about that for a minute. How do just Gausman and Bundy stack up against the top projected starters of other American League teams?

Not well, as it turns out. Here are the Steamer projections (in fWAR) for the top two starting pitchers on each AL team:

Indians: Corey Kluber (5.2)/Carlos Carrasco (4.2): 9.4
Red Sox: Chris Sale (5.4)/David Price (3.3): 8.7
Yankees: Luis Severino (4.4)/Masahiro Tanaka (3.3): 7.7 
Astros: Dallas Keuchel (3.8)/Justin Verlander (3.7): 7.5
Rays: Chris Archer (4.3)/Blake Snell (2.4): 6.7
Blue Jays: Marcus Stroman (3.8)/J.A. Happ (2.3): 6.1
Mariners: James Paxton (3.8)/Felix Hernandez (2.0): 5.8
Angels: Shohei Ohtani (3.1)/Garrett Richards (2.6): 5.7
Tigers: Michael Fulmer (2.8)/Daniel Norris (1.5): 4.3
Twins: Jose Berrios (2.1)/Kyle Gibson (2.0): 4.1
Rangers: Cole Hamels (2.3)/Doug Fister (1.5): 3.8
Orioles: Kevin Gausman (2.3)/Dylan Bundy (1.2): 3.5
Royals: Danny Duffy (2.1)/Jakob Junis (1.4): 3.5
Athletics: Sean Manaea (2.0)/Kendall Graveman (1.4): 3.4
White Sox: Carlos Rodon (1.4)/Lucas Giolito (0.8): 2.2
Source: FanGraphs

There are some unknowns on this list. It's unclear what role Ohtani will have for the Angels. The top free agent starters have yet to sign, so perhaps they could be added to one (or more) of these teams. And maybe you quibble with a pitcher who isn't listed above because his fWAR projection isn't high enough.

Really, though, you get the idea. Gausman and Bundy are fine pitchers. Both the Orioles and their fans are hoping they develop into more, even if they are nice mid-rotation options. But relying on them as front-line options is extremely risky. They need help.

The Orioles, as they keep saying, are trying to win now. But winning now with Gausman and Bundy at the top of the rotation seems like an impossible feat.


Jan Frel said...

That's why I would trade either for many pitching prospects.

O's need 10-12 more real pitchiing prospects than they currently have in the minors to produce a 4 man rotation of winners. ... so trade one of these guys before their reputations and careers solidify as Good #3 pitchers, occasionally #2 pitchers...

Other thing -- Kremitzer: you may have looked into this before, but I was struck by the vast gulf in home/away splits for hitters on Norfolk team... Like Sisco and Mancini for example. It's not the International League... because Sisco and Mancini were great when they hit AWAY. Is Norfolk the Bizarro park to match... the Rockies stadium? Looks that way

Matt Kremnitzer said...

I wouldn't trade either one right now. The O's have so few major league quality starters, and they're under team control for a while. But sure, you could talk me into it down the road.

The Tides' ballpark, Harbor Park, is a well-known pitcher's park. I'm not surprised Tides hitters would perform better on the road.

Unknown said...

This is insane, but given the Orioles lack of starting pitching, and unwillingness to address it, it may be our only option. I call it the Norfolk-Nuclear-Shuttle-Option:
- Sign 25 optionable pitchers and assign them all to Norfolk.
- Norfolk's starting lineup consists of a starting pitcher, and 8 other pitchers who are deployed as position players
- Other than games started by Bundy and Gausman, every major league game is treated as a "bullpen game" (where a reliever starts the game and is removed after 3 or 4 innings)
- Bring up 2 or 3 optionable pitchers to pitch each of the bullpen games. Each pitcher is told that they'll work no more than 3 innings (once thru the lineup), and to go "as hard as you can for as long as you can"
- At the conclusion of that game, send down the 2 or 3 pitchers and bring up another 2 or 3 pitchers for the next game.
Lather, rinse, repeat

Unknown said...

Can they make 80 starts each? Where have you gone, Wilbur wood?