Perspective is often a
difficult impossible trait for a sports fan to fully embrace. When Joe SportsFan's favorite team pulls off a trade, it's a fool's errand to even pursue it. But hey, I'm a fool, so I set out to continue to be one.
In light of the Jeremy Guthrie trade news today, I reached out to Stacy Long,
manager Bowser of our Orioles sister blog, Camden Chat. For most of us, Guthrie is a pitcher we have seen 99% through statistics sheets and 1% in passing from SportsCenter MLB Network. So I asked Stacey for a synopsis on the trade from a Baltimore perspective, and what we can expect from Mr. Guthrie going forward.
Without further ado, here's Stacey:
The trade of Jeremy Guthrie is a tough one for many Orioles fans to accept. He's not a world class pitcher but he is a world class human being. He has spent the last five seasons as one of the most popular and successful Orioles (not that that's saying much), and I recommend every Rockies fan begin following him on Twitter, @JGuthrie46. Affectionately referred to as Guts by O's fans, I have no doubt that he'll endear himself similarly to the Rockies faithful. He's an avid bicycler who arranged for a group of Orioles to bike their way through the city on Ride Your Bike to Work Day, he's not shy about his love for the Backstreet Boys, Usher, and Justin Bieber, he posts pictures of himself in his Halloween costume on Twitter, and he is just a smart, funny guy.
But how is he as a pitcher, you are asking? Well, the bad news for the Rockies is that he gives up a lot of home runs. He just does. Sorry. He also doesn't strike out a lot of batters, but he tempers both of those things by not walking many. Glancing at his stats without watching him pitch would probably cause most to think he's been lucky; he consistently out-pitches his peripherals and he has a lower than normal BABIP. But at this point he's been doing that for his entire career, and watching him be effective on a regular basis, I've come to the conclusion that Guthrie is simply an exception to the rule.
Guthrie keeps himself in phenomenal shape and is rarely injured. He's pitched at least 200 innings each of the last three seasons, and four seasons ago he pitched 190. He isn't an ace by any stretch of the imagination, but he does on occasion give an ace-like performance. More generally, though, he puts up a decent outing that keeps his team in the game. As you can see by his win-loss record, the Orioles rarely took advantage of that in his time in Baltimore. His fastball sits at 93-94 with good movement but he can pump it up several mph when he needs to. He has good control and when he's on his game he is capable of beating any lineup.