“I Like our guys” is a quote from Buck Showalter, manager of the Baltimore Orioles, in reference to the roster that became so popular with the Orioles faithful that the team gave out a tee shirt featuring the phrase in 2014 to fans in attendance at a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Fast forward to the 2016 season and that phrase should be the team’s marketing slogan.
We are currently 4 days away from Super Bowl 50, 18 days way from the Daytona 500 and 15 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Ed Smith Stadium. That being said, the 2016 Orioles roster may very well be set. The team has retained Matt Wieters, re-signed Darren O’Day and Chris Davis, acquired Mark Trumbo and HyunSoo Kim while losing Steve Pearce, Geraldo Parra and Wei-Yin Chen to free agency. No pitcher has been signed to join the expected rotation of Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez and Kevin Gausman. I attribute this to two factors; too much time and effort was spent in the re-signing of Chris Davis (a move needed to put fannies in the seats in my opinion) and an underestimation of the cost of obtaining quality pitching by the front office. Add to that the seemingly unexpected acceptance of the $15.8 QO by Wieters and a “death grip” on the first round draft pick (#14 overall) and accompanying bonus money by Dan Duquette and you have probably the pitchers in the system who will start the season.
Repeat after me, “I like our guys”.
This is not to say that there won’t be some minor moves made during Spring Training. Along with those moves will come the usual comments of how good the move is and how it gives the team options. Without trade bait the Orioles cannot get a quality pitcher. Crossing fingers, and hoping for “bounce back” years will not win the AL East. We lost a MAJOR piece of our rotation and have not replaced that piece. I know there are options in our system (Vance Worley, Mike Wright, Tyler Wilson and possibly TJ McFarland) but I would prefer those options “fight” to break into an existing rotation not “fight” to finish out the composition of the rotation.
Again, repeat, “I like our guys”.
I fully expect the 2016 Orioles to hit the ball well and field the ball well, I’m just not comfortable right now with who will pitch the ball.
I like our guys! I like our guys! I like our guys!
Maybe there will be another t-shirt giveaway.