This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Over the past five weeks, we have checked in on the spring happenings around each division. This sixth segment features a look at the American League East. Hopefully you've had a chance to weigh the pros and cons of the majority of arms competing for rotation spots, and you are prepared to field a value-laden pitching staff when baseball kicks off for the 2021 season. We're in deep stretch, so let's look at the:
American League East
Baltimore Orioles – The O's simply don't have the horses to compete in the rough and tumble AL East, and, I'll admit, I'm struggling to find positives to mention. Their "ace" heading into 2021 is lefty John Means who surprised everyone with a modestly successful run in 2019. On most teams, Means would be in the mix for the fifth or maybe the fourth slot, but here in Baltimore, he is forced to occupy the top spot. Unfortunately, his stuff just isn't that good. I'm not sure who to label their No. 2. I suppose it would be between another southpaw, Keegan Akin, and veteran Felix Hernandez. Akin has a little upside and has shown the ability to miss bats, but he has just 26 major league innings, so he's learning on the job. King Felix might make his greatest contribution as something of an assistant pitching coach, helping groom these young kids. He has a balky elbow right now, and, with more than 2,700 MLB innings, I'm not sure how