Most likely, the answer to what ails the Orioles pitching staff isn’t on the 40-man roster right now. The odds are slim that Tommy Hunter or Jason Hammel become above average arms. The odds are stacked against Chen and Wada transitioning into anything more than replacement level players. If there is answer, it has to lie in the quartet of Matusz bouncing back, Tillman figuring it out, and Arrieta and Britton getting healthy.
The four were basically handed jobs in 2011 and flopped miserably. Competition is a good thing in sports, especially when it comes to making young players prove themselves. Did the additions of guys like Eveland and Hunter make Matusz magically find his velocity again? Probably not. Did it keep Dr. James Andrews from recommending surgery on Zach Britton’s shoulder? Of course not. Is it the reason for Chris Tillman’s 2.92 earned run average this spring? More than likely, no.
None of the no-names brought into Sarasota have hurt, though. Competition is a funny thing to understand. Would these guys have pitched just as well without Duquette signing six or seven castoffs? It’s certainly possible. But it’s also possible that the four youngsters would have come to camp guaranteed a job, out of shape, and less likely to produce in 2012.
Dana Eveland was never the answer. That was the point, folks.
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