Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jeremy Guthrie, 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom #50

A check of my archives shows that I haven't posted a Jeremy Guthrie card since the Orioles traded the righty in February of last year for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. That's a shame, because he was one of the more personable and likable players to come through Baltimore in recent years. So I may as well take a moment to sing his praises now.

Jeremy's short stay in Colorado was disastrous, as he went 3-9 and posted an astronomical 6.35 ERA and 12.1 hits per nine innings in 19 games with the Rockies. His home run rate skyrocketed from 1.1 in 2011 to 2.1. Unsurprisingly, Coors Field was not a welcoming place for a fly-ball pitcher like Guts. But the Rockies gave him a reprieve, trading the veteran to Kansas City for fellow wayward starter Jonathan Sanchez in mid-July.

There haven't been many players in recent years who have had a career revival with the Royals, but the difference in Jeremy Guthrie's performance was stark. His 5-3 won-lost record came with a sterling 3.16 ERA and a much-improved 8.3 H/9 IP. His home run rate dropped back down around his career norm. The Royals, rolling the dice on some veteran starters to augment their prospect-laden lineup, retained Guthrie with a three-year, $25 million contract. Five starts into that deal, the early returns are promising for both player and team. Jeremy is a perfect 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA after blanking the Indians for six and two-thirds innings this past Sunday. Dating back to last year, he's now gone 16 starts since absorbing his last loss. Guts actually got hung with an 'L' in each of his first three starts as a Royal, but the third of those, a 5-3 defeat against the Rangers on August 3, was the last losing decision for him. It's a pretty drastic reversal of fortune for a guy who led the American League with 17 losses twice in a three-year span while with the O's. This ongoing run of success certainly couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, and I hope it continues for as long as possible.

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