I'll be giving you my Top Five pitching staffs in the following slideshow. I'm sure most will disagree with the order, or even what teams are in there, but to each his own, right? Where does your team stand? Think a team should be added or left off? Let the debate begin!
Comments appreciated and all opinions welcome.
Ah, the hated Yankees. From the top, CC and A.J. are extremely potent. The No. 3 pitcher Chien-Ming Wang can sometimes be pure domination when he is healthy. No. 4 pitcher Andy Pettitte is rock solid and brings a ton of experience. Lastly, Joba Chamberlain has a ton of potential, but whether it is as a starter or reliever, time will only tell.
At the top, Webb and Haren are about as good as they come. Both could be No. 1s on a lot of teams. Jon Garland is the new guy in the bunch, but he can bring top end of the rotation stuff occasionally. Another good thing about Garland is that he is an innings eater, throwing 190+ since 2002.
Doug Davis, who I think will be their Mo. 3, is a very crafty lefty. Lastly, Max Scherzer is going to be a top end rotation guy very soon. The kid can flat-out pitch!
The Giants probably have one of the top two pitchers in the game in Tim Lincecum, who is just straight ridiculous. The No. 2, Cain, has pitched well but seems to never get any run support. No. 3 is good ol' Randy Johnson. What hasn't this guy done in his career? He is only needing five more wins to reach 300, and I'm thinking Johnson is going to have a very good year.
Seems to look like the No. 4 spot will be given to Jonathon Sanchez, while Barry Zito is apparently the No. 5 guy, and boy, how far did he fall. If Zito was at the same level as he was with the A's, then the Giants would most certainly be in the top spot, but he's not. With that being said, I think Zito can come back to have a solid year this year.
Carlos Zambrano, the No. 1, is an rock solid All-Star pitcher who continues to the Cubs' workhorse. At No. 2, Ryan Dempster had a career year last year and doesn't look to slow down. Ted Lilly is one of the best No. 3 pitchers in the game and Rich Harden is No. 4...and when Rich Harden is fourth, you know you have a good pitching staff. No. 5 is Sean Marshall, who has been straight filthy this spring.
Josh Beckett is a Top 5 pitcher easily. Diasuke Matsuzaka went 18-3 last season while pitching only 163 innings....are you kidding me? No. 3 is Jon Lester, the best No. 3 in all of baseball, while Tim Wakefield is a pretty solid pitcher. At No. 5 is Brad Penny, another good pitcher.
What puts the Red Sox at No. 1 is that they also have John Smoltz. He probably won't be ready until June or July, but he puts the already-solid talent on this team over the top.