When the Jake Arrieta takes the field tonight against the New York Yankees, it will not be the ideal scenario for a youngster making his debut.
He will be making his MLB debut on one of the biggest stages in sports.
Even though it is at Camden Yards, calling it a home game is somewhat of a stretch. The stadium will be two-thirds Yankees fans and he will also have to go up against the most powerful team in the history of baseball.
Simple put, this isn’t the scenario you would like to put one of your top prospects in as his first start.
Arrieta is the last of the recent swarm of pitching prospects that will be brought up by the O’s over the last year. The list includes Brad Bergesen, David Hernandez, Jason Berken, Chris Tillman, and Brian Matusz. While, there is yet another wave available in class A and AA, they are a few years off—these are the players of now.
Tonight’s game should be a happy occasion for Baltimore; one that should have been the Orioles showing off the last piece of an already impressive stockpile.
Instead, Arrieta joins a group of pitchers that are 31-52 with a combined 5.09 ERA and make up the majority of one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball.
It is true that not all prospects turn into stars, but what the Orioles seem to have in the pros could turn out to be a prospect graveyard. There is still hope for Matusz, but Hernandez, Berken, Bergesen, and Tillman all seem to be struggling and in danger of turning into duds.
Considering how badly the Orioles need Arrieta to be a success, they don’t seem to be helping him out at all.
Look at how the Nationals handled Stephen Strasburg. They not only waited patiently until he was ready, but they waited until they could play a beatable opponent (the Pirates), and could fill the stands with Nationals fans. Every fan in that stadium was rooting for him.
Instead of doing that, the Orioles are calling up Arrieta because it happens to be convenient for them and are risking his chance of being a successful pitcher in the process.
The Orioles have the worst record in baseball. The idea of calling up a player on the organization’s time instead of when it is best for the player is ludicrous and is quite possible one of the reasons the Orioles can’t succeed in cultivating their talent.
Bringing up Arrieta is reminiscent of the Tillman and Matusz call-ups last year; it is nothing more than a publicity stunt.
The O’s are terrible and can’t get fans to come to the ballpark any more. MacPhail is just using Arrieta as a pawn to get Orioles fans to stay interested. He will probably do the same thing with Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder at the end of the year.
These aren’t the actions of man building a dynasty; they are that of a man who is trying to buy himself some time.