Archive for Brian Matusz

Matt Wieters Accepts Qualifying Offer: Now What?

Posted in Free Agency, Offense, Offseason, Pitching with tags , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

Last Friday Matt Wieters surprised many by accepting the qualifying offer the Orioles made him. As a result, he will now be a member of the 2016 Orioles on a one year, $15.8 million contract. That’s not a small amount of money, but it’s surprising he accepted the deal, considering there are no other catchers on the free agent market, leading one to believe that Wieters would have been in line for a large payday had he rejected the qualifying offer. Either he found that the offers he would’ve received were lower than expected, thought he could make even more money on the free agent market after the 2016 season, enjoyed playing in Baltimore (the only organization he’s ever known), or a combination of all three.

The situation of Wieters accepting the qualifying offer has already been covered in excellent fashion (as usual) over at Camden Depot. On Monday, Jon Shepherd provided a very thorough and realistic set of options as to where the Orioles offseason may go as a result of this, while Tuesday saw Matt Perez laid out some reasons (in much more depth than what I have above) as to why Wieters may have accepted the qualifying offer. Since the situation has already been covered so well, I won’t be going over any of that in this piece and I suggest that you head over to Camden Depot and read the articles in their entirety.

If you read Camden Depot on even a semi-regular basis, you already know that the writers recently participated in an exercise outlining their individual plans as to how they thought the Orioles should approach the offseason, with Jon picking what he ultimately thought would be the best course of action. An index of the entire series can be found HERE. What I would like to do is take another look at my personal blueprint for the Orioles 2016 season, and see how Matt Wieters accepting the qualifying offer (which I did offer him in my hypothetical offseason) changes my strategy going forward.

My blueprint can be found HERE (it focused on building major league depth and a minor league system), but below is a quick recap of the free agent signings I would have made.

  • LHP J.A. Happ – 3 years, $24 million ($8 million annually, 3rd year an option)
  • OF Denard Span – 4 years, $56 million ($14 million annually, 4th year an option)
  • OF Gerardo Parra – 3 years, $24 million ($8 million annually)
  • UTIL Steve Pearce – 2 years, $12 million ($6 million annually)
  • 1B/DH Mike Napoli – 1 year, $5.25 million
  • OF/DH Matt Joyce – 1 year, $2 million

The original assumption was that after paying players currently on the roster, providing raises in arbitration (using the numbers provided at MLB Trade Rumors), and paying league minimum to players who have not accrued enough service time, I would have approximately $44.7 million to spend on free agents. Now that Wieters has accepted the qualifying offer I extended him, that number has decreased to $28.9 million. Let’s see what adjustments can be made while following the same set of rules (which includes NO trades). Continue reading

The Camden Highball (Episode 13): The Rosters They Are a-Movin’

Posted in Offense, Pitching, Podcast with tags , , , , , on June 9, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

Yesterday, there was a new episode of the Camden Highball podcast over at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot to help you get the week started.  Pat and I talked to Jeff Long of Baseball Prospectus and Baltimore Sports and Life about Oliver Drake, Steve Pearce, and Manny Machado.

Direct Link to Article –> The Camden Highball: The Rosters They Are a-Movin

The Camden Highball (Episode 11): Talkin’ Bats with Juan Baret

Posted in Pitching, Podcast with tags , , , on May 25, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

This week on the Camden Highball (the weekly podcast for ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot), Pat and I talk with local bat maker Juan Baret (of Baret Bats), who specializes in the construction and production of handcrafted customized wood baseball bats.  We also talk about how no one can score a run off of Mike Wright and the Brian Matusz ejection.

Direct Link to Article –> The Camden Highball: Talkin’ Bats with Juan Baret

Orioles Give Up Too Much for Andrew Miller

Posted in Pitching, Trades with tags , , , , , , on August 1, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

One of the busiest trade deadlines that I can remember is now over and the Orioles came out of it with one move.  Similar to (one of) their deals at the 2013 trade deadline, Baltimore traded one of it’s more highly regarded prospects for 2 months of a reliever, sending LHP Eduardo Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox for left handed reliever Andrew Miller.  It’s not a strategy I typically like, although Miller has been one of the most valuable relievers in all of baseball this year.  Today over at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I give my taken the Rodriguez /Miller swap.

Direct Link to Article –> Orioles Give Up Too Much for Andrew Miller

Zach Britton on Pace to (Probably) Make History

Posted in Pitching with tags , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Orioles closer Zach Britton was once part of the team’s “cavalry” of starting pitching prospects that included Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, and to a lesser extent Brandon Erbe and Brad Bergesen. #Blessed with an above average sinking fastball and slider (along with an average change-up), Britton was generally considered the 2nd or 3rd best prospect of the group, depending on who was asked, and he topped out as Keith Law’s #11 overall prospect in his 2011 rankings for ESPN (ESPN Insider required and recommended). Here’s a snippet of what Law had to say:

“There’s at least strong No. 2 starter potential here, but better command would give him more ceiling than that.”

Continue reading

Projecting the 2014 Orioles: Pitching

Posted in Offseason, Pitching, Projections with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Last week we looked at what the Zips projection system over at Fangraphs thought the Baltimore Orioles position players were capable of in the 2014 season.  Comparing those projections to the wins (fWAR) the team received at each of the offensive positions in 2013 resulted in the 2014 Baltimore offense to be worth 4.7 wins worse than the previous year’s team.  Today we’ll take a look at the pitching staff and see if we can bring that number back into the positive.

Starting Pitcher

2014 Zips Projection

2014 Zips Projection

In 2013, Baltimore starting pitchers as a whole were one of the weakest parts of the roster.  The starters combined for only 7.4 fWAR, which placed them 24th among all major league starting rotations.  Much of that production came from Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Tillman, and Miguel GonzalezScott Feldman and Bud Norris also added about 1 win each in a little less than half a seasons worth of work for the Orioles.  Other than that, 9 other pitchers produced anywhere in between 0.5 fWAR (Jason Hammel) and -0.8 fWAR (Freddy Garcia).  I looked at how the starting rotation fared in depth at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot earlier in the offseason, so if you would like a more detailed analysis, you can find it here. Continue reading

Is Brian Matusz a Realistic Starting Rotation Option?

Posted in Pitching with tags , on March 13, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Brian Matusz was the Orioles 1st Round pick (#4 overall) in the 2008 draft.  After beginning his career with so much promise, he faltered badly and found has found himself in the bullpen for the past year and a half.  Despite his success as a LOOGY out of the ‘pen, there has been talk of returning him to the starting rotation for the second offseason in a row.  Today at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I took a look whether Brian Matusz’s chances at earning a spot in the rotation are realistic.  Fair warning, his 2011 season was atrocious, so you may want to cover your eyes during that section.

Direct Link to Article –> Is Brian Matusz a Realistic Starting Rotation Option?