Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Texas Rangers Notes: Why Jeremy Guthrie Could Add Pop to the Rotation

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For the last few days a lot of the trade talk has centered around relievers like Heath Bell, Francisco Rodriguez, and a few others.

While the bullpen is definitely something general manager Jon Daniels and CEO Nolan Ryan will need to address, they also need to do something about the starting rotation. They need to bring in a starter, or two, who will allow them to move struggling Alexi Ogando back to the bullpen and possibly into the seventh or eighth inning role.

Baltimore Orioles Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie Delivers
Photo courtesy: Associated Press

Jeremy Guthrie, a 32-year old right hander with the Baltimore Orioles, is a guy the Rangers could bring in and plug in as the number two starter behind ace, C.J. Wilson.

Guthrie is currently 3-9 with a 3.93 ERA but don't forget this is for an Orioles team that is hitting .260 as a team and really doesn't have much of a chance to win their own division. Especially when that division already boasts the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays.

In four of the last five seasons, Guthrie has finished with an ERA under 4.00 including a career low 3.63 back in 2008 and has posted three consecutive 10-win seasons.

He's a solid starter and all of his experience has been in the AL East, a division most would call the best in baseball.

His fastball velocity will range any where from the high 80's to mid 90's and he's able to paint the corners with it. His slider will stay around the mid 80's but he has been known to ramp it into the low 90's as well. Those are the two pitches he's thrown the most over his career but he will mix in a curve and changeup as well but, according to fangraphs.com, he won't use those two pitches near as often.

Over his career, Guthrie has thrown his fastball and slider 83.6% of the time with the other 16.4% centered around the curve and changeup.

Guthrie has always gotten off to fast starts to every season. He has a career 3.29 ERA in the month of May but for the rest of the season he'll hover around the 4.30 to 4.70 mark.

He's a guy who won't cost the Rangers their top prospects but the Orioles will look to acquire the likes of Craig Gentry and possibly a few other minor leaguers maybe of the mid-level variety.

Bringing in Guthrie allows the team to make some changes to their rotation in order to strengthen their bullpen. They can roll with Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and possibly Colby Lewis at the back end of the rotation, at least for now.

But with Wilson and Guthrie leading the staff, this team and it's rotation, automatically becomes the best in the AL West and allows them a little breathing room between themselves and the rest of the division.


  1. Why the heck would the O's want Craig Gentry? He is 28 and plays CF which is where the lone likely O's All Star plays. I do agree these teams match up well but I think Chris Davis will have to be involved in some form or fashion, the O's desperate position of need is 1B for the long term and Davis is basically blocked forever in TX. For him I think the O's would give up Guthrie or Koji or Jim Johnson all of whom would vastly improve Rangers' pitching.

  2. Bret, I think Chris Davis will absolutely be a trade chip and if the Orioles will give up Guthrie for Davis, the Rangers would make that deal in a heartbeat.

    As far as Gentry goes, this is a young up and comer and can play any of the three outfield positions. He has a lot of speed on the base paths and can go get a ball in the outfield. I think the O's would definitely take a look at him.