Predicting the Starting Rotations of All 30 MLB Teams

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2012

Predicting the Starting Rotations of All 30 MLB Teams

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    Baseball teams will be looking to set up their starting rotations over the next few weeks as we get closer and closer to the season. There is a lot of competition going on for a number of spots.

    For some teams, their rotation is basically set going into the year, while others are still looking at a number of guys that could fill one, two or three spots.

    Picking the right guys to start the year in the rotation could be the difference between a good start and a bad one. Teams that choose the wrong players may need to scramble to find new starters once the year has gotten started.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    1) Ian Kennedy

    2) Daniel Hudson

    3) Trevor Cahill

    4) Joe Saunders

    5) Trevor Bauer

    The first four spots of the Arizona Diamondbacks' starting rotation are locked up, and these guys will be there to start the year unless one gets hurt.

    Last year's No. 3 overall draft pick, Trevor Bauer, has a chance to make the team's Opening Day roster, but he will need to outpitch Josh Collmenter.

Atlanta Braves

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    1) Jair Jurrjens

    2) Tommy Hanson

    3) Brandon Beachy

    4) Julio Teheran

    5) Mike Minor

    There will be a lot of competition in spring training this year amongst Atlanta Braves pitchers. The team has a number of good prospects that have a chance to make an impact this year.

    Julio Teheran is one of the top pitching prospects in all of the minors, and if he pitches like it this spring, he will make the team.

    Atlanta will need to make a tough choice about who to send down to the minors once Tim Hudson recovers from his offseason back surgery.

Baltimore Orioles

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    1) Jake Arrieta

    2) Tommy Hunter

    3) Jason Hammel

    4) Wei-Yin Chen

    5) Brian Matusz

    A number of pitchers in the Baltimore Orioles camp have a chance to win a spot in the team's rotation this year.

    This is very much an open competition, and the pitchers that miss out will likely reach the majors at some point later in the year.

Boston Red Sox

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    1) Jon Lester

    2) Josh Beckett

    3) Clay Buchholz

    4) Daniel Bard

    5) Aaron Cook

    Two of the pitchers that were starters for the Boston Red Sox at the beginning of last season, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka, are both injured.

    This leaves a lot of opportunity for starters—both veterans and youngsters—to compete for those spots.

Chicago Cubs

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    1) Matt Garza

    2) Ryan Dempster

    3) Paul Maholm

    4) Travis Wood

    5) Randy Wells

    After Matt Garza, the Chicago Cubs' rotation does not look very strong. It may be one of the weakest rotations in the majors.

    Garza may not even be with the Cubs for much longer. The team could potentially deal him later this year.

Chicago White Sox

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    1) John Danks

    2) Gavin Floyd

    3) Jake Peavy

    4) Phil Humber

    5) Chris Sale

    Chris Sale is certainly the most intriguing story in the Chicago White Sox rotation. He is trying to become a starter again after spending some time in the team's bullpen.

    Jake Peavy is an intriguing player as well. Staying healthy will be a big concern for him all year.

Cincinnati Reds

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    1) Johnny Cueto

    2) Mat Latos

    3) Homer Bailey

    4) Bronson Arroyo

    5) Aroldis Chapman

    The time has finally come for Aroldis Chapman to join the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation. The flame-throwing Cuban is getting a chance to prove that he can start this spring.

    It is possible that the Reds may be the team to beat in the National League Central this year if their rotation comes together the way that they hope it will.

Cleveland Indians

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    1) Ubaldo Jimenez

    2) Justin Masterson

    3) Derek Lowe

    4) Josh Tomlin

    5) David Huff

    Cleveland was hoping to have Fausto Carmona in its starting rotation to begin the year, but after his scandal this winter, it is unlikely that he will join the team in time to start the year.

    This means that the Indians will need to go with a young starter to replace him, and David Huff seems like the best option.

Colorado Rockies

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    1) Jhoulys Chacin

    2) Drew Pomeranz

    3) Jeremy Guthrie

    4) Juan Nicasio

    5) Tyler Chatwood

    Alex White had a chance to make the Colorado Rockies rotation out of spring training, but that likely went down the drain following his DUI arrest.

    The Rockies will have a young starting rotation, but it does not mean that it will be a bad one. They definitely have some talent in their rotation.

Detroit Tigers

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    1) Justin Verlander

    2) Doug Fister

    3) Max Scherzer

    4) Rick Porcello

    5) Jacob Turner

    Having the reigning American League MVP as your ace generally bodes well, and the Detroit Tigers have a solid one-two punch in their rotation.

    Jacob Turner has the potential to turn into a top-of-the-rotation starter, but he will likely be the Tigers' No. 5 this year.

Houston Astros

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    1) Wandy Rodriguez

    2) Bud Norris

    3) J.A. Happ

    4) Kyle Weiland

    5) Jordan Lyles

    As with any team that is rebuilding, there will be a lot of growing pains with the Houston Astros this year.

    There is an opportunity for some of the team's young talent to shine, but they will certainly take their lumps along the way.

Kansas City Royals

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    1) Luke Hochevar

    2) Jonathan Sanchez

    3) Bruce Chen

    4) Danny Duffy

    5) Felipe Paulino

    The Kansas City Royals strengthened their rotation this winter when they traded Melky Cabrera to the San Francisco Giants for Jonathan Sanchez.

    Don't expect Felipe Paulino to hold down the last spot in the Royals rotation for too long. The team has a number of solid pitching prospects in the minor leagues.

Los Angeles Angels

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    1) Jered Weaver

    2) Dan Haren

    3) C.J. Wilson

    4) Ervin Santana

    5) Jerome Williams

    When C.J. Wilson is the third starter in a team's starting rotation, you know that it is one of the best rotations in the majors.

    That is the case for the Los Angeles Angels. They should go far with the team that they have this year.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    1) Clayton Kershaw

    2) Chad Billingsley

    3) Ted Lilly

    4) Aaron Harang

    5) Chris Capuano

    Clayton Kershaw is not just one of the top young pitchers in the National League, but one of the best starters in the majors. He won the NL Cy Young last year.

    After Kershaw, the Dodgers rotation does have some questions, but they should compete in the NL West.

Miami Marlins

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    1) Josh Johnson

    2) Mark Buehrle

    3) Ricky Nolasco

    4) Anibal Sanchez

    5) Carlos Zambrano

    While Josh Johnson may be an outstanding pitcher, he has had problems staying healthy the past two seasons.

    At the back end of the Miami Marlins rotation is Carlos Zambrano. He will cause more problems than the number of wins he has this year.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    1) Yovani Gallardo

    2) Zack Greinke

    3) Randy Wolf

    4) Shaun Marcum

    5) Chris Narveson

    Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke form one of the best combinations at the top of a rotation in the majors.

    The rest of the Milwaukee Brewers rotation isn't too shabby either. Randy Wolf and Shaun Marcum will be key players for the Brew Crew this year.

Minnesota Twins

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    1) Francisco Liriano

    2) Carl Pavano

    3) Scott Baker

    4) Nick Blackburn

    5) Jason Marquis

    This could be a long season for the Minnesota Twins. They have lost a number of players from their team last year, and their rotation is not that strong.

    Kyle Gibson would have had a good chance to make the Twins rotation if he was not out as a result of his Tommy John surgery.

New York Mets

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    1) Johan Santana

    2) R.A. Dickey

    3) Jon Niese

    4) Dillon Gee

    5) Mike Pelfrey

    Getting Johan Santana back should give the New York Mets a big boost. Their rotation was one of their issues last year, and he instantly makes it better.

    The Mets are going to need Mike Pelfrey to finally show the potential that made him a first-round draft pick.

New York Yankees

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    1) CC Sabathia

    2) Hiroki Kuroda

    3) Michael Pineda

    4) Ivan Nova

    5) Phil Hughes

    Bringing in Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda this offseason will likely have a big impact on the New York Yankees' season.

    These two starters should help stabilize the Yankees rotation and help them return to the playoffs.

Oakland Athletics

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    1) Brett Anderson

    2) Brandon McCarthy

    3) Dallas Braden

    4) Brad Peacock

    5) Jarrod Parker

    The Oakland Athletics have a new-look rotation this year after they dealt away two of their best starters, Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill.

    Oakland acquired a number of young prospects in those trades, and Brad Peacock and Jarrod Parker should both make the team's Opening Day rotation.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    1) Roy Halladay

    2) Cliff Lee

    3) Cole Hamels

    4) Joe Blanton

    5) Vance Worley

    Even after losing Roy Oswalt, the Philadelphia Phillies still have one of the best starting rotations in baseball.

    The last two starters in the Phillies rotation are not great, but they should each win at least 10 games in 2012.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    1) Jeff Karstens

    2) Kevin Correia

    3) Charlie Morton

    4) James McDonald

    5) Erik Bedard

    A.J. Burnett was supposed to join the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation, but after he hurt himself bunting, he will not join the rotation for a few months.

    After an exciting year in Pittsburgh last season, the team's starting rotation this year is not giving fans much to cheer about.

San Diego Padres

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    1) Cory Luebke

    2) Edinson Volquez

    3) Tim Stauffer

    4) Clayton Richard

    5) Dustin Moseley

    PETCO Park is a pitcher's paradise. The park is very spacious, and it is one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the majors.

    San Diego will have a number of pitchers who should benefit from the team's home park. Adding Edinson Volquez to the team's rotation was a nice addition, even if it cost them Mat Latos.

San Francisco Giants

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    1) Tim Lincecum

    2) Matt Cain

    3) Madison Bumgarner

    4) Ryan Vogelsong

    5) Barry Zito

    This year, San Francisco Giants fans could be enjoying some of the last times that they see Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain in a Giants jersey. Lincecum is a free agent in 2014, and Cain is a free agent after this year.

    Madison Bumgarner is a young star, and he should continue to improve this year.

Seattle Mariners

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    1) Felix Hernandez

    2) Jason Vargas

    3) Hisashi Iwakuma

    4) Hector Noesi

    5) Kevin Millwood

    Beyond Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas, there is not much certainty about the Seattle Mariners starting rotation.

    Pitchers that are also competing for those last three spots are Charles Furbush and Blake Beavan.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    1) Chris Carpenter

    2) Adam Wainwright

    3) Jaime Garcia

    4) Kyle Lohse

    5) Jake Westbrook

    Getting Adam Wainwright back for the 2012 season will be a huge boost to the St. Louis Cardinals starting rotation.

    St. Louis also has two other starters that are amongst the league's best in Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    1) David Price

    2) James Shields

    3) Jeremy Hellickson

    4) Wade Davis

    5) Matt Moore

    By the time that the season is over, the Tampa Bay Rays could have one of the top three starting rotations in baseball.

    Matt Moore is an outstanding prospect, and he is a player that all baseball fans will be interested in watching this year.

Texas Rangers

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    1) Colby Lewis

    2) Yu Darvish

    3) Derek Holland

    4) Neftali Feliz

    5) Matt Harrison

    There are two interesting stories to follow that have to deal with the Texas Rangers starting rotation.

    Yu Darvish has been hyped up and should be the real deal. Neftali Feliz is trying to make the transition from being a successful closer to being a successful starter.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    1) Ricky Romero

    2) Brandon Morrow

    3) Brett Cecil

    4) Henderson Alvarez

    5) Dustin McGowan

    Ricky Romero has gotten better and better since he reached the major leagues in 2009, and he hopes to continue that trend this year. His "RR Cool Jay" nickname is also outstanding.

    There are few pitchers in baseball that are more frustrating than Brandon Morrow. When he is on, he is lights out. Statheads love him, and his FIP has been much lower than his ERA the past two seasons.

Washington Nationals

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    1) Stephen Strasburg

    2) Gio Gonzalez

    3) Jordan Zimmermann

    4) Edwin Jackson

    5) John Lannan

    The Washington Nationals made significant improvements to their rotation this year by trading for Gio Gonzalez and signing Edwin Jackson.

    It is possible that the Nationals will make the playoffs this year. They could end up in one of the two wild-card spots this year.