Jordan Lyles and the Orioles

Posted By: pogo

Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 06/01/2022 16:26

Thought that this blog post was of interest.
Joe Sheehan Newsletter, January 5, 2022 -- Jordan Lyles and the Orioles.
Here's the LINK
Posted By: mikezpen

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 06/01/2022 17:00

Can't get it. All I get is an ad for gmail.
Posted By: BaseBawl

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 06/01/2022 17:16

I'm on my phone, or I'd track it down.
Posted By: pogo

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 06/01/2022 18:06

I'll copy and paste.

The Joe Sheehan Newsletter
Vol. 13, No. 141
January 6, 2022

In Monday’s Newsletter I mentioned Jordan Lyles as someone the Rockies could consider signing to fill out their rotation, given their lack of internal options. Lyles, it was pointed out to me, signed a one-year, $7-million deal with the Orioles just before the lockout. It was another reminder to stop using this as a source of free-agent information.

Let’s try to make lemons out of lemonade by using this as an excuse to write about the Orioles. Lyles had a 5.15 ERA in 180 innings with the Rangers last year, leading the AL in earned runs allowed (for the second straight season) and home runs allowed. An Astros prospect back in their tanking days, Lyles moves to his seventh team now, and his fifth since the start of the 2017 season. Lyles has become a true innings eater; he’s never posted a seasonal ERA below 4.00, and he hasn’t had a FIP below that since 2015.

He’s exactly what the Orioles need. Lyles isn’t good, but in 30 starts last year he pitched through the fifth 23 times. Less than half the Orioles' games last year featured a starter doing that. Half of Lyles’s starts were quality starts, which isn’t damning with faint praise. The Orioles, outside of John Means, had 19 quality starts all year. Signing Lyles gives Brandon Hyde a fighting chance in a way that his starting pitchers didn’t on most nights the last few years, gives him a chance to run a pitching staff like the manager of a typical bad team and not a triage doctor on a battlefield. The Orioles tied an MLB record last year by using 42 pitchers to throw 1402 innings. They used 38 in 2019. They used 27 to throw just 518 2/3 innings in 2020.

Jordan Lyles isn’t going to make the Orioles good. He will, however, give the rest of the Orioles a better chance to be good.


CF-L Cedric Mullins
1B-R Ryan Mountcastle
RF-B Anthony Santander
DH-R Trey Mancini
C-B Adley Rutschman
LF-R Austin Hays
3B-R Kelvin Gutierrez
SS-R Jorge Mateo
2B-R Rougned Odor

The Orioles have quietly produced some decent hitters during this awful run of baseball. Cedric Mullins was one of baseball’s best stories last year, posting a 30/30 season with an 878 OPS. Trey Mancini and Ryan Mountcastle are similar: Neither is comfortable wearing a glove, but their power is real. Austin Hays is a more athletic version of that type. You could do worse than produce the top six hitters from this system -- Anthony Santander was a Rule 5 pick -- in a four-year span.

On the other hand, the Orioles’ other infielders are irredeemably awful, and there’s not much in the system ready to take over. This is how you end up signing Rougned Odor. I actually had Jorge Mateo, former Yankees and A’s prospect, on my LABR team late last year and could see him having a better-in-fantasy-than-real-baseball year, going for ten homers and 20 steals.

Adley Rutschman is a plus defensive catcher who hit .312/.405/.490 in his first exposure to Triple-A last summer. He’s the best or second-best prospect in baseball, depending on how you feel about Bobby Witt Jr. Maybe the new rules will provide the Orioles incentive to leave him down past Opening Day; he’ll be at Camden Yards by May 1.


Bat-L DJ Stewart
OF-R Ryan McKenna
IF-R Ramon Urias
C-R Jacob Nottingham

Fun 40-man note: The Orioles don’t have a catcher on theirs. Of the four they used last year, Pedro Severino left as a free agent, Chance Sisco was waived in June, Austin Wynns and Nick Ciuffo were outrighted to the minors after the season. Jacob Nottingham and Anthony Bemboom have been signed to minor-league deals.

DJ Stewart and Ryan McKenna are pretty good bench players, and Yusniel Diaz is coming up behind them. The Orioles actually have a surfeit of outfield talent, and could reasonably trade Mullins and Mancini while replacing them with credible major leaguers.


SP-L John Means
SP-R Jordan Lyles
SP-L Bruce Zimmermann
SP-R Jorge Lopez
SP-L Keegan Akin
SP-L Zac Lowther

Grayson Rodriguez will arrive during the summer. He will be the eventual ace of the Orioles come the middle of the decade. DL Hall has just seven career appearances above A ball, and beyond him it’s all more marginal talents. The Orioles have invested in hitters in the draft the last few years, taking Rutschman, Heston Kjerstad and Colton Cowser with top-five picks. That’s not the worst idea, but it does create the need to buy pitchers down the road, and I don’t mean Jordan Lyles.

John Means will be 29 in April, and getaway day no-hitter aside, he’s a mid-rotation starter -- career 4.65 FIP -- with a lot of downside risk. He should not be on this team come Opening Day, traded preferably to a team with too many infielders. The Cubs, maybe, for one of the contact twins? Use Means to find a four-year solution at second base.


RP-R Cole Sulser
RP-R Dillon Tate
RP-L Tanner Scott
RP-L Paul Fry
RP-R Tyler Wells
RP-L Cionel Perez
RP-R Dean Kremer

Tanner Scott and Paul Fry had terrible ERAs last year, killing their trade value, but are better pitchers than the one number indicates. If Dillon Tate continues taking well to the pen, emphasizing his new sinker, this won’t be a bad unit.

Look, there’s no path to contention for at least another season, and maybe two. That will make six years of rebuilding for the Orioles, five under GM Mike Elias, arguably time for the team to show some results. Even with the outfield, with Rutschman, with the decent bullpen, the best you can project the Orioles for in 2022 is losing fewer than 100 games for the first full season since 2017. That’s a reasonable goal.
Posted By: carolina

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 06/01/2022 18:50

Trading Means for an infielder is a terrible idea.
Posted By: BaseBawl

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 06/01/2022 20:37

Yeah, that sounds like a loser. Lots of thought in that article though. Thanks.
Posted By: mikezpen

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 07/01/2022 14:06

Yeah appreciate your time. I wouldn't write off Urias yet. Don't know who good he is, fielding-wise, but a good hitter last year and hit when it counted. Hays could learn a lot from him on going to the off-field.I get so tired of RH hitters trying to yank those low and away sliders to left field and hitting grounders to the infield.

Jorge Mateo is toolsy which probably means the odds are against him. But you could see the talent at bat last year. And he's 1st or 2nd in the Majors, speed-wise. A big stealing threat if he harnesses it.Well worth giving half a season too, anyway.

IMHO, Lyles is an absolute waste of money. I'd rather they'd gone higher for somebody half way good who could be traded if younger talent comes in.

God, it's great to be talking seriously about baseball again!
Posted By: BaseBawl

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 07/01/2022 14:33

Could be a mirage.
Posted By: mikezpen

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 07/01/2022 16:18

Come on, now.

This is rotation from above

SP-L John Means
SP-R Jordan Lyles
SP-L Bruce Zimmermann
SP-R Jorge Lopez
SP-L Keegan Akin
SP-L Zac Lowther

Cannon fodder for most part. They need some big help.

O's have some talented guys in high minors like Peralta and Bradish who have stuff to pitch in the majors. But lack control and command.
Posted By: BaseBawl

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 07/01/2022 16:23

We did need a Lyles. Over the course of last year, he'd have been the ace. I'm weirded out by how spectacularly the kid pitchers didn't step up. There were flashes. Maybe one or three make it. I'm not writing them in my scorecard with a sharpie. But there were about half a dozen suspects. We got turkey scat from them as a group.
Posted By: mikezpen

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 07/01/2022 16:34

I didn't see much there, just a bunch of slow-throwing minor leaguers. Guys like that, particularly left-handers, junk up minor league hitters and record hundreds of strikeouts.But in the majors, they get clobbered. Really disappointed at Kremer and Baumann who had good stuff but were lousy.
Posted By: carolina

Re: Jordan Lyles and the Orioles - 07/01/2022 18:20

John Means and pray for a lot of rain.
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