Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Baltimore Orioles Moving To Six-Man Rotation

With Grayson Rodriguez reinstated and just one scheduled off-day in 31 days, the Baltimore Orioles are moving to a six-man rotation.

On Friday, Baltimore began a 45-day stretch that starts with 13 consecutive games before a break on May 30th. Then continues with 17 more games until another break on June 17th, and concludes with 13 consecutive game days leading up to July.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde hinted Friday that the reigning division champs will likely move to a six-man rotation “pretty soon.” Hyde said Baltimore has started mapping out starts for the upcoming stretch to help ease the workload of their starters. Baltimore plans to keep ace Corbin Burnes on regular rest, then fill in Grayson Rodriguez, Kyle Bradish, John Means, Dean Kremer, and Cole Irvin as they see fit.

However, shifting to a six-man rotation comes with a caveat. It increases the pressure on the already overworked Orioles bullpen.

Baltimore Orioles Shifting To A Six-Man Rotation

Following Sunday’s series finale against the Seattle Mariners, Baltimore’s bullpen boasts the seventh-best ERA in the majors at 3.39. At their best, Orioles relievers have delivered dominant performances, but their effectiveness is often undermined by bouts of inconsistency.

Part of that inconsistency comes from Orioles starters not going deep into games. Through the first 43 games of the season, Baltimore’s rotation is averaging 5.6 innings per outing. While moving to a six-man rotation, will take one more reliever out of the Baltimore bullpen, the good outweighs the bad.



The Orioles rotation has an ERA of 3.16 which is good for fourth-best in the American League, and fifth-best in the majors. However, Baltimore has already used eight different starting pitchers nearly two months into the season, four of whom have already spent time on the injured list. As the Orioles rotation returns to health, Albert Suárez and Cole Irvin, who have both pitched very well as starters, have returned to Baltimore’s bullpen.

Having a sixth starter going into the stretch of 43 games in 45 days, will ensure an already strong rotation stays that way. Irvin, who got off to a rough start this season, has become one of Baltimore’s most effective starters. Keeping him as a starter means Baltimore has their sixth most effective pitchers in their rotation.

Hyde said going into the 45-day stretch that he plans on managing his bullpen differently. The Orioles have already leaned on their bullpen a lot this season, so getting starters deeper into games during the extended stretch is key. Starters who come in with extra rest, have fresher arms and can typically go deeper into games, reducing the bullpen’s workload.

Main Photo Credits: Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message