When Alex Cobb signed a four-year, $57 million contract with the Orioles in late March of last year, Baltimore thought that they were getting a top-of-the-rotation starter who could help solidify a starting pitching staff in desperate need of inning-eaters. They knew that they were getting a veteran who finished with an earned run average (ERA) below 3.00 in two of the four seasons in Tampa Bay in which he started a minimum of 22 games.
Just over a year into the biggest Orioles contract handed out to a pitcher since Ubaldo Jimenez‘s four-year, $50 million deal was signed before the 2014 season, Cobb hasn’t lived up to the billing.
Yes, you read that headline correctly.
The Baltimore Orioles are coming off a historically poor season that accumulated 115 losses. It’s very possible that the Orioles will lose 100 games again in 2019. Even though no one expects the Orioles to come anywhere near the playoffs this year, the brand new, technology-driven approach introduced to several young players by General Manager Mike Elias, Assistant GM Sig Mejdal, and Manager Brandon Hyde makes this year’s Spring Training the most exciting Orioles camp in years.
Baltimore Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota on Tuesday in what figures to be an interesting Spring Training. With so many spots on the Orioles roster up-for-grabs, Ed Smith Stadium will not be short of competition in the next month and a half.
With that in mind, the Orioles pitching rotation might be the most stable area on the team in regards to carryover from 2018. Pending injury, three starters in last year’s rotation will return. The back end of the rotation gets dicey. However, there’s some exciting young arms in the mix that got valuable experience in the reluctantly memorable 115-loss season.