Showing more patience isn’t guaranteed to work, but the “tough love” shown over the first seven weeks of the season doesn’t seem to be producing the desired results. And it’s a more realistic approach than simply clamoring for the Orioles to acquire more pitching help immediately as many are already.
Duquette should remain on the lookout for outside options, but finding anything better than the Freddy Garcias and the Randy Wolfs of the baseball world isn’t realistic before the All-Star break in the new era of two wild cards in each league. If last year is any evidence, the trade market has become a seller’s dream in late July, let alone in May when all but a few teams still see themselves as potential contenders.
Short of trading top pitching prospects Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman — which the Orioles simply aren’t doing — there just aren’t any quick fixes out there. The Orioles’ best bet for adding impact pitching might be Gausman, who currently sports a 3.11 ERA at Double-A Bowie and is probably another month to six weeks of good starts away from becoming a serious candidate to be promoted.
In the meantime, the Orioles must reset and take a closer — and longer — look at their most-deserving internal options. The veteran Garcia might be approaching the end of his audition, but Jurrjens’ strong performance with the Tides to begin the season should warrant at least a few more starts in Baltimore before Showalter and Duquette begin looking down to the farm for the next option.
Remember that Tillman was little more than an afterthought among the Orioles’ young starting pitchers at the beginning of last season but made the memory of three failed seasons fade with a strong second half in the middle of a pennant race.
It sounds wishy-washy and by no means is a sure path to success, but the Orioles have no choice but to slow down their one-and-done approach and take a more patient look at their options instead of simply cycling through them impatiently. If their minor-league performance warrants an opportunity at the next level, give them the proper chance — beyond one start — to see if success carries over.
After all, these were the guys the Orioles were happy to go with when they largely passed on outside help in the offseason.