Observation deck: Orioles' 2016 rotation could look much like the current one

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Orioles starter Chris Tillman pitches in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards on Aug. 22, 2015 in Baltimore.

Is next year's rotation already here? Though it has been a rocky year for the Orioles starting rotation, the one that opens up the 2016 season might not look a much different than the one that is wrapping up 2015.

It seems likely that agent Scott Boras will steer left-hander Wei-Yin Chen to a big payday elsewhere, but it appears that the other four regular starters will be back and the fifth may well come out of the farm system.


The Orioles just gave spot starts to rookies Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson, both of whom are likely to compete for a regular slot next spring. Wright did not fare well and there is talk that he will be groomed to be a Tommy Hunter-style setup man. Wilson doesn't feature the same type of velocity, but the club likes the way he has taken advantage of sporadic major league opportunities.

The bigger question, of course, is which Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez show up in Sarasota, since both took a step backward this season.


Throwing out a wider net: Like every winter, there will be speculation about the front office going outside the organization to find another starter, but there's no logic there. The Orioles have never had an appetite for spending big free-agent dollars on pitching, and that doesn't seem likely to change while the club is still smarting from the Ubaldo Jimenez deal.

The Orioles might spend some money on the lineup to make up for the almost certain loss of Chris Davis, but I'm guessing that the front office remains true to form and beats the bushes for low-cost projects.

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Rethinking replay: Baseball's video replay system has been a net plus for the sport, but it would be nice if the umpires who make the decisions in New York would stick to the original intent of the review process.

Calls are only supposed to be overturned if the original call is proven wrong by a preponderance of the video evidence. But upon further review, it is obvious that in too many cases those umpires are simply replacing the umpire's judgment on the field with their own.

The overturned call involving Manny Machado on Friday night was a great example. Every replay shown appeared inconclusive and the second base umpire on the field was in perfect position to make the call, but it was overruled because it appeared from camera angles much farther away that Machado might have been out on a razor-close play.

That's just not the way the system is supposed to work.


Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck on his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at