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It’s Time for Jeremy Guthrie to Leave Baltimore 17

Posted on July 21, 2011 by Marisa Ingemi

Should the Baltimore Orioles be shopping Jeremy Guthrie to a contender?

The Baltimore Orioles are in the midst of what looks like another losing season, their 14th straight. Ever since they fell to the Yankees in the playoffs in the late 90’s, they have been hapless. They have developed some nice players in Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, but they lack one big thing.

Pitching.

The Orioles thought they were on the cusp of something when Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz were top prospects. Well, Arrieta has struggled while Matusz has had his own injury woes. Projects like Koji Uehara (in the rotation) and Kevin Millwood were fails. But while there have been struggles, they have found one constant.

Jeremy Guthrie has been a solid pitcher in Baltimore for years. In 2007 and 2008, Guthrie held his ERA in the 3’s and he gave the Orioles some much needed innings in their mess they called pitching. He had an awful 5.03 in 2009, coming off the World Baseball Classic and that may have been the cause of his setback. He rebounded last season for an ERA of 3.83, but a fear is beginning to settle in amongst Baltimore fans.

Are these young players getting too used to the losing atmosphere? Guthrie has an ERA of 4.35, nothing bad but not what he has been in his Orioles past. He certainly has not been as bad as his 4-13 record indicates. Is this a great chance to get a steal for a middle of the rotation starter?

Some teams like the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers need pitching. Both are in tight division races but lack pitching down the stretch or a usable rotation in a playoff series. Is Guthrie a pitcher they can get cheap? New York kicked the tires with Ubaldo Jimenez, but the price is much too high for an NL West pitcher who’s numbers have gone down dramatically this season.

Guthrie’s numbers are not terrific, but he has been able to hold his own in the very tough American League East. With his numbers down a bit, the Orioles would not be demanding much in return for him. This could be the Yankees chance to get a starter without giving up their prospects.

Guthrie is not going to win a Cy Young award. He is not going to throw many one or two hitters. But he can eat innings and be a very valuable #3 or #4 pitcher in a good rotation. And it is time he exits the losing culture that is the Orioles.

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