The Baltimore Orioles are in the midst of a sensational 10-game win streak that's promising of a brighter tomorrow, despite still being last place (45-44) in the American League East. They are the talk of baseball after finally showing signs of turning the corner after five straight losing seasons.
One of their surprise producers along their hot streak has been right-handed pitcher Austin Voth, who was claimed off waivers last month from the Nationals, with whom he posted a 10.13 ERA in 19 appearances. The 30-year-old now maintains a 3.80 ERA through eight appearances (five starts) with Baltimore — and a 6.75 ERA overall on the season — after earning his first win of the season on Sunday.
Voth offered a surprising insight into Baltimore's analytics department, which seemed to reflect negatively on that of Washington's.
"I was kind of blown away by all the data that they have here," Voth said via Jesse Rogers. "The video guys and how they can break down stats and pitches. And individually things for each pitcher. That was big for me."
Baltimore General Manager Mike Elias, hired in Nov. 2018, appears to have turned around one of the losingest franchises in Major League Baseball. An acolyte of the Astros' front office, which ran head-to-head against the Nationals' scout-heavy front office in the 2019 World Series, Elias is credited with Houston's selection of Carlos Correa in 2012.
Voth's statement perhaps inadvertently questions whether the analytics department in Washington is somehow lagging behind that of Baltimore's, something that left 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier in a state of disbelief.
"It seems to me that he's saying he didn't have that info before," Paulsen said Thursday. "Do the Orioles have data the Nationals don't have? I don't think that would shock a lot of people because the Orioles are considered to be one of the leaders now in analytics, whereas the Nationals have long been considered a team behind in that regard."
Asked what he makes of the Voth quote, Rouhier replied, "That the stuff we can't see is not being spent on here in Washington. The payrolls, which people point to, where they go, 'The Lerners are cheap,' and we go, well, not so fast. They've been top-10 when they've been competitive here, and it's without a TV deal, without unlimited funds like LA or New York or otherwise, they've spent pretty good. Well, this is where they haven't spent."
"Everyone's using I would say mostly the same equipment," Paulsen went on to say. "Like there was a time, I remember this, years ago where the Astros had Edgertronic [high speed video cameras] and Rapsodo and all kinds of stuff, and everyone else didn't. Like the Rays, they got stuff... I'll bet you there were a lot of teams that had stuff before the Nats or some of these other teams did. I think the Nats have that stuff now. I really believe that.
"You've seen them restructure the developmental portion of the organization. Like, they're trying some things. But, I guess where I need to see more growth is.... the Voth comments just are bothersome. I hope he's just talking out of his you-know-what when he says 'I can't believe all the information they have!'"
"I don't think he is," Rouhier replied.
"They shouldn't have more information. They shouldn't," Paulsen said. " Like maybe biomechanically they're doing different things. Maybe the video process is different, where you sit down with a video guy, rather than a video guy sitting down with a coach who then is coaching you third-party or something. Because teams do things in different ways. I'm cool with that."
"But if the chart you're handed from the Nats has 42 words and the one the Orioles give you has 253 — and this is a very basic example — like that would bother me," he said.