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Sunday, August 25, 2013

All Time All Stars - Orioles/Browns Pitchers

The Orioles hitting was a bit of a let down.  The infield combination is really quite impressive with Brooks, Cal, and Eddie Murray all ranking in the top ten and possibly top five at their respective positions. The power and defense each brings to the table may make it a top five unit when it's all said and done. The outfield, however, left much to be desired leaving us looking to the pitching if there is to be any hope of competing with the Yankees and Red Sox.  The franchise has featured several good pitching staffs throughout it's history especially in the late '60s and early '70s when Baltimore was the class of the American League.  Here's the staff from the 1973 game:

  • Steve Barber
  • Mike Cuellar
  • Dave McNally
  • Jim Palmer
  • Milt Pappas
  • Jack Powell
  • Urban Shocker
  • Dick Hall RP
  • Stu Miller RP
It's nice that Palmer, Cuellar, and McNally all made the team considering they were in the middle of their careers in 1973.  Urban Shocker is an excellent choice as well and would probably be the #3 or #4 starter on this team.  Adding Stu Miller was a great choice since he was such a good reliever in a time where relievers were not glorified.  Still, this staff isn't particularly scary and lacks the elite talent of Chicago, Cleveland, and even New York.

Here's the updated staff as I see it:

Original Locks:

  • Jim Palmer - The lone Hall of Famer of the bunch.  He won three Cy Young awards, 20 games eight times, and led the league in ERA twice.
  • Milt Pappas - Never won 20 games in a season but he was consistently very good and never had a losing season in Baltimore.
  • Urban Shocker - The best pitcher in Browns history with a compiled record of 126-80 in seven seasons and an ERA+ of 127.
  • Stu Miller - Spent only five of his sixteen year journeyman career in Baltimore but he is arguably the best reliever they've ever had. He led the league in saves twice and even won an ERA title as a swingman in 1958.
  • Dave McNally - Spent all but his last season in an Oriole uniform and won 181 games with the club including four straight 20 win seasons and three straight top 5 Cy Young finishes.
  • Mike Cuellar - Cuellar also had four 20 win seasons in an Oriole uniform and was part of the famed 1971 rotation that featured four 20 game winners. Won the A.L. Cy Young award in 1969.
  • Jack Powell - Won 245 games in his career though we're discarding his first three seasons since they took place prior to 1901.  Once completed 40 games in a season and led the league in saves twice.
Your knuckle-curve is welcome here.
New guys that are locks

  • Mike Mussina - The second best pitcher in franchise history after Palmer. If he had not left for New York in the middle of his career he would hold numerous franchise records. 
  • Mike Flanagan - Flanagan spent 15 years in Baltimore posting a 141-116 record. He ranks 11th in franchise history in pitcher WAR.
  • Gregg Olson - Olson is the best closer in franchise history though he had arm troubles throughout his career.  Earned 160 saves in five seasons.
Mussina's addition is paramount to the success as now the team can boast a solid 1-2 combo with Palmer.  That allows Shocker, McNally, and Cuellar to round out the rotation.  Combining Olson with Miller for late inning situations is also an improvement over the Barber-Miller combo in 1973.  The Orioles did well here though there still are a couple of shaky guys once you get past the five starters in Powell and Flanagan.  In conclusion, the Orioles rotation looks good and though it may not have the star firepower some of the other original franchises boast, it's no pushover and will stand up well against other teams as we continue to move along in the All Time All Stars series.
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