Starters going deep the key to strong second half

Starters going deep the key to strong second half

BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before Saturday's game with the Jays that the success of the team's starting rotation could play a big role in what the team does after the All-Star break.

Showalter said the much-discussed issue of having the starters make their way deeper into games is something he and his staff certainly feel is important -- for many reasons.

"[If] we go deeper into our games with our starting pitching [like last year], we'll have some fun," Showalter said. "If not, it will be a challenge."

Showalter said taking pressure off the bullpen is something longer starts would do, and it's what he'd like to see.

Too much work for the bullpen won't always give any team consistent results.

But in the end, the return of Wei-Yin Chen could stabilize things for the rotation. That's what Showalter's hoping for, a group of starters he can depend on for the second half.

"If we can stay healthy, I think we're going to have a chance to be competitive with our rotation," he said. "We've got some people in place that could help us if we have a problem. But we know that can change."

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.