The question shouldn't be "can Orci direct a big budget film?" but rather "can he direct a film at all?". TIME AFTER TIME wasn't a big budget film, but it showed that Meyer was capable of successfully directing a film and sometimes that's really all you need. A good comparison can be Steven Spielberg. Before working on RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, he never directed an action film and wasn't known as a guy who could deliver a film like that. Another good comparison from today can be the Russo brothers. Before directing CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLIDER, their only work so far had been comedies and TV sitcoms.
Unlike those directors I mentioned above, Orci had never directed anything. No short film, no TV episode, no film, nothing. I can see why Paramount would be hesitant in hiring him, hence why Bad Robot seems to be working really hard on lobbying for Orci.