Baltimore Orioles ace John Means could help the Colorado Rockies starting rotation.
John Means is, by far, the Baltimore Orioles’ best starting pitcher but, according to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Orioles are “dangling” him to teams and with Jon Gray leaving the Colorado Rockies for the Texas Rangers, Means could replace him in the starting rotation.
Means, who turns 29 in April, still has three years left of control so he would not be a rental but because of that, the Orioles could be looking for a lot in a trade return.
In 2021, Means missed some time due to a shoulder injury so he only made 26 starts. As Olney mentioned, Means was good before the injury (partially due to some good luck as he had an ERA of 2.28 but a FIP of 4.20 in his 12 starts before his injury) but after he returned, he scuffled. In his final 14 starts, he had an ERA of 4.88 (FIP of 5.01).
Overall, he had a 3.62 ERA in 2021 in 146 2/3 innings. He had mostly good stats in 2020 (career low walk rate, career high strikeout rate, a WHIP of sub-1.00) but the long-ball killed him. He allowed 2.5 homers per nine innings, amounting to a 4.53 ERA and a 5.60 FIP.
In 2019 (his rookie year), he appeared in 31 games (27 starts) and had an ERA of 3.60 (4.41 FIP) and he was an All-Star and came in 2nd in AL Rookie of the Year voting.
The problem for him and the Rockies would be his flyball rate. Rockies starting pitchers have a groundball percentage rate in the 40s or low 50s. Means’ groundball rate was 30.7 percent in 2019, 43.9 percent in 2020, and 32.6 percent in 2021. His flyball rate was around 30 percent in 2019 and 2021 and around 25 percent in 2020.
For comparison, Germán Márquez hasn’t had a flyball rate above 20.5 percent or a groundball rate lower than 47.3 percent in the last four seasons and he pitches better at Coors Field than on the road.