With a potent lineup and a stellar defense, it's pretty safe to say that the Baltimore Orioles' biggest weakness is their pitching staff.
The Orioles' pitching currently ranks 14th in the AL with their 4.53 ERA.
While that seems awful, it's really not as bad as it looks. In reality, much of the damage to the Orioles' ERA has come from pitchers not currently on their active roster. Only four of their 12 active pitchers have an ERA above 4.50.
Even though the O's pitching has been somewhat disappointing this year, there have been some positives. Their bullpen still has trustworthy arms and starters are keeping them in games for the most part.
So without further ado, here is the power ranking for the pitchers on the Orioles' staff.
Only Baltimore's active pitchers are ranked, unless a pitcher has made six or more appearances.
2013 Stats: 0-3, 23 G, 5.79 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 19/14 K/BB
There's really nothing positive to say about Pedro Strop's performance this season. It's been pretty dreadful. He did have a pretty decent scoreless-innings streak at one point, but by and large, he's been disappointing.
Strop has been very wild this season, as his 14 walks in only 18.2 innings show. As FanGraphs shows, his velocity has also been down from last year.
He did pitch a scoreless inning in mop-up duty in his first appearance after a DL stint on Saturday. Hopefully, that's some indication that Strop can return to the form he had last season when he was one of the most reliable arms in the Orioles' bullpen.
2013 Stats: 0-3, 4 GS, 8.84 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 15/6 K/BB
Other than one very good start against the Tigers, Kevin Gausman's first taste of the majors has been a bitter one.
Homers have been the main issue for the former first-round draft pick, as he has already surrendered five, including three in his start at Washington.
Gausman is only 22 years old and his future remains bright, but he does look slightly overmatched at the big league level. There's still no timetable set for Wei-Yin Chen's return, though he could possibly be back by late June. So, unless Gausman can show some signs of improvement in his next couple of starts, a trip back to the minors could be in his future.
2013 Stats: 1-0, 24 G, 4.94 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 17/13 K/BB
May was a rough month for Troy Patton. His command was gone and his pitches were flat as nothing went right for Orioles' lefty.
Meanwhile , Patton's ERA rose from 2.31 to 5.01 in May and he allowed 17 hits along with eight walks in only 11.2 innings of work.
Here's a weird statistic for Patton: the Orioles have only won one of the last 10 games in which Patton has appeared. That doesn't mean he's to blame for the loses, but it's an ugly stat regardless, especially since he's not just a mop-up reliever.
2013 Stats: 3-3, 8 GS, 4.47 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 20/9 K/BB
Freddy Garcia has actually been surprisingly decent for the Orioles since his call-up in early May.
He has had two forgettable outings, including his start in Houston where he allowed four home runs. However, he has been solid in his other six starts, one of which he went eight shutout innings against the Nats in a win.
While his spot in the rotation isn't safe by any means, the 36-year-old veteran will continue to get starts until someone in the minors pitches well enough to break the Triple-A barrier, or perhaps when Wei-Yin Chen returns.
2013 Stats: 7-4, 13 GS, 5.18 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 53/27 K/BB
For having seven wins this season, Jason Hammel has been very mediocre.
To be fair, he's only had three starts where he has allowed five-plus runs. However, he hasn't had a start where he has given up fewer than two runs.
Hammel was the Orioles' so-called "ace" coming into the season. Even though his ERA hasn't been below 4.00 since April, he is on pace for 15-plus wins and that's got to count for something. All in all, he hasn't been as good as his record shows, but hasn't been as bad as his ERA shows either.
2013 Stats: 0-0, 14 G, 4.15 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 27/12 K/BB
There haven't been many complaints about the job that T.J.McFarland has been doing in his relief roles of long-man out of the bullpen and mop-up duty. His ERA was under 3.00 prior to a five-run outburst in a blowout loss to the Tigers.
As the Orioles' Rule 5 draft pick, McFarland's spot in the bullpen is extremely safe. He could also be a candidate to get a spot-start, depending on the situation.
2013 Stats: 2-0, 29 G, 4.01 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 23/6 K/BB
Brian Matusz's last appearance was his worst of the year, as he allowed three runs on five hits in two-thirds of an inning. However, the Orioles won the game and all is well.
The lefty hasn't been quite as dominant out of the 'pen as he was last year, but he's still the best left-handed option the Orioles have.
The only issue that really sticks out for Matusz is his performance away from the friendly confines of Camden Yards. While he holds a 1.50 ERA at home, where opponents are only averaging .128 against him, on the road, Matusz has a 6.39 ERA with opponents hitting .260 off him.
2013 Stats: 2-5, 22 SV, 4 BS, 32 G, 4.15 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 24/7 K/BB
For a two-week span in May, all-start closer Jim Johnson apparently forgot he was All-Star closer Jim Johnson.
In that span, he blew four of five save opportunities, picking up three losses in the process. He repeatedly fell behind in counts and served up fastballs right down the middle of the plate.
Before and since then, Johnson has been near-perfect.
In his struggles in the heart of May, he allowed 12 earned runs over five innings for an ERA of 21.60. In his other 25.1 innings this season, Johnson has given up only two earned runs for a 0.71 ERA.
So yeah, if it wasn't for that two-week span, Johnson would probably be ranked No. 1 on this list.
2013 Stats: 3-2, 10 GS, 4.05 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 47/21 K/BB
Miguel Gonzalez has been a very consistent starter for the O's this year.
Despite only having one start reach seven innings, he hasn't had any terrible outings. He did have one start where he gave up three homers against the Rays, but he they were all solo shots and the Orioles won.
Health will be the key with Gonzalez, as he has a history of injuries. As long as he can stay healthy, he should remain a solid contributor to the Orioles' rotation.
2013 Stats: 3-3, 8 GS, 3.04 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 27/12 K/BB
Before being placed on the disabled list due to an oblique injury, Wei-Yin Chen was pitching well for the O's.
Other than one bad outing in Seattle, it was all positive for the 27-year-old Taiwanese lefty. His best start came in Oakland, where he went eight shutout innings, allowing two hits to pick up the win.
As previously noted, even though he hasn't begun a rehab assignment yet, Chen could be back in the rotation by the end of June.
2013 Stats: 6-2, 13 GS, 3.89 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 65/25 K/BB
With a couple of rough outings out of the gate, it seemed as if Chris Tillman would regress from his stellar 2012 performance. While he has slipped slightly, he still has been the Orioles' best starter this year.
Tillman's ERA has steadily improved since April, despite allowing at least one homer in each of his last seven starts and having a rough outing at home against the Nats.
Tillman leads the team in innings pitched and strikeouts while the Orioles have a 9-4 record in his starts. Slowly but surely, he is turning into the Orioles' ace.
2013 Stats: 1-1, 1 SV, 24 G, 2.06 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 28/7 K/BB
Tommy Hunter has easily been the most pleasant surprise so far in 2013 for the Orioles' pitching staff. While he showed signs of being a solid reliever near the end of last year, it was hard to foresee Hunter being this effective.
As FanGraphs shows, his velocity has gone way up this season, as he no longer has to worry about going deep into games as a starter. That increase in his speed has helped produce more strikeouts and a lower opponents' batting average.
He's still slightly prone to the home run ball, but overall, not much else can be asked of Hunter.
2013 Stats: 3-0, 1 SV, 30 G, 1.55 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 31/9 K/BB
Since being claimed off waivers from the Rangers after the 2011 season, Darren O'Day has been one of the best middle relievers in all of baseball for the O's.
His submarine style throws off batters, making his 85 mph fastball look about 98 mph, while his slider just seems unhittable at times.
O'Day has only allowed five earned runs in 29.0 innings this season, with all but one of those runs having come in Orioles' wins. In addition, 24 of his 30 appearances have come in Orioles' wins so when O's fans see O'Day, it usually means a win is on the way.