Results tagged ‘ Nate Karns ’

Baltimore Orioles to use Nate Karns as an opener

After an off day yesterday, the Baltimore Orioles will resume their young season this afternoon in the Bronx. That would be game two of the season, and in the current series with the NY Yankees. Again for those dismayed by the loss on Opening Day, today’s a new day. Every game is one of 162.

The Orioles this afternoon are expected to employ Nate Karns in the role of an “opener.” Of course this was a concept popularized by Tampa last year – this instead of a “closer.” Manager Brandon Hyde has said that he was amenable to using this tactic if it made sense, as it does apparently now:

Our bullpen will be rested, and we’re trying this out. It’s new for us, new for me. But to be able to have your bullpen rested before that game is key, so that’s why we picked it that way.

Quote courtesy of Jon Meoli, Baltimore Sun

I’ll be honest, I’m wary of this tactic, and I’m way of it league-wide. Granted some of that is probably due to the fact that it’s not something I’m used to seeing. However my point would also be that as many managers that we see struggling with bullpen management, the tactic just moves up the opportunities for bullpens to be mismanaged. Nevertheless, it’s something that the Orioles are going to try.

The Birds will play game two at Yankee Stadium this afternoon. The aforementioned Nate Karns is on the mound for the Orioles (as an opener), and he’ll be opposed by New York’s James Paxton. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles sign pitcher Nate Karns

The Baltimore Orioles have officially signed a free agent in anticipating of the 2019 season. Pitcher Nate Karns signed on with the O’s yesterday. Karns signed a one-year deal worth $800,000, plus a possible $200,000 in incentives.

Over five seasons with four different teams (most recently Kansas City), Karns has a career win percentage of .573, and a 4.37 ERA. For what it’s worth, he gives up on average of 27 home runs per 162 games. Karns hasn’t appeared in a game since May of 2017 with Kansas City, after which he underwent thoracic outlet surgery. Then last year he was shut down during spring training with elbow inflammation and didn’t pitch in 2018.

So the Orioles are assuming a bit of a risk in signing Karns. I’m not sure he should be labeled a reclammation project, but it’s been awhile since he’s appeared in a game due to one injury or the next. He was ultimately outrighted last October by Kansas City, and he became a free agent.

The Orioles have two slots presumably open in the starting rotation. I suspect that’s where Karns will land, although his and others’ performances in spring training will play a role in that as well. Karns has been a starter for most of his career, but again nothing is set in stone per se.

In other news, Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA is projecting the Orioles to finishe with 105 losses in 2019. That’s the highest projected loss total in the majors. That would also mean that they’d win 57 games – a ten-win improvement over 2018.

Would that be considered a successful season? In the context of rebuilding, I would submit that it would. However again things have to be put in the proper context. Out of context, that’s a miserable season. But put back into the proper context of a ten-win improvement, a rebuilding team, and a young team, I think most Orioles fans will take that.

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