Just a few days after Erik Bedard was shut down for the season with a strained oblique, Jeremy Guthrie left yesterday's game with the same injury. And now he's out for the season.
Guthrie was the surprise of the season, pitching like a Cy Young candidate for a few months after being picked up off of waivers in the offseason from the Indians before fading down the stretch. Guthrie's season was strikingly similar to that of Rodrigo Lopez, who posted a 3.57 ERA as a 26 year old rookie in 2002 after being picked up from the Mexican League.
Guthrie got by early in the season with a Maddux-like walk rate and an extremely low BABIP. Once those two measures regressed, and combined with a startling 1.2 HR/9 on the year, Guthrie began to pitch more towards preseason expectations. Guthrie has great stuff and put up solid numbers this season so it makes sense to pencil him as a back of the rotation starter next season despite the warning signs of a possible collapse.
So now the rotation is in shambles with Rob Bell (he of the 7.75 ERA) and newly acquired Victor Santos starting in the upcoming series against the Angels. Talk about depressing. It's tough to find reasons to watch a team with what has become, almost completely, a sub-replacement level pitching staff. How did the pitching staff crumble so quickly? Garrett Olson will also miss at least one turn and Birkins is back in the pen so I suppose the rotation is currently Cabrera, Bell, Santos, Leicester, and Liz. Or something. Yikes.
Nick Markakis continues his torrid second half (.325/.401/.549). I'm going to look at his season a little bit more in depth after the year is over. He's the biggest reason to keep watching at this point. Legitimate hope for the future is always nice.