National League's New Pitching Rotations: How They Stack Up
The Philadelphia Phillies:
After all the articles about how great the Philiadelphia Phillies are (I still don't see the 2010 WS trophy with their team on it), there have been some signings and trades in the off season that has gotten the attention of quite a few baseball fans. Most of them were over-shadowed with a bias for a team that has yet to prove they are the best.
Yes, I am anti-anyone who is crowed champion before the season starts. Also I am sick of the argument that a team who is not the best still wins the championship. Look, if they win the whole magilla, guess what? They're the best. Don't twist the stats around and tell me on paper that your team or their team is better, just deal with the fact that last year's team is the best team period.
Now, checking out all of these rotations I want to show how close it really is, and how competitive this year's NL will be regardless of what all the media types and east coast fans try to tell you. I will also include a list of who's-who of off season additions. This article is meant to show the new arms and what they bring to current rotations to make them better.
RH Roy Halladay ... 21-10, 2.44 ERA,
LH Cliff Lee ... 12-9, 3.18 ERA,
RH Roy Oswalt ... 13-13, 2.76 ERA
LH Cole Hamels ... 12-11, 3.06 ERA
TOTALS ... 58-43, 2.84 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 4.93 K/BB
Let's take a trip down memory lane....
The NLCS: Game 1: Lincecum W, Halladay L
Game 2: Oswalt W, Sanchez L
Game 3: Cain W, Hamels L
Game 4: Wilson W, Oswalt L
Game 5: Halladay W, Lincecum L
Halladay and Oswalt both .500 in the NLCS. But to no avail the Giants of Frisco defeat the Phillies in game 6. Proof is in the pudding there, the Phillies are not the better team. With the loss of Jayson Werth, they will struggle to replace that 85 RBI's and 27 HRs. With the addition of Lee, Perhaps they can hold their opponents long enough to compensate. Giants were a combined 7-2 vs the current Phillies rotation. Eat it up.
Then there's the defending World Champion San Fancisco Giants. Look, I am not a fan but you have to be impressed with what they had to do to get where they are. For the Philadelphia fans with short memories: Game 1 of the World Series the Giants crushed Cliff Lee tagging him for 6 earned runs on 8 hits by the fifth inning.
RH Tim Lincecum ... 16-10, 3.43 ERA
RH Matt Cain ... 13-11, 3.14 ERA
LH Jonathan Sanchez ... 13-9, 3.07 ERA
LH Madison Bumgarner ... 7-6, 3.00 ERA
TOTALS ... 49-36, 3.19 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 2.70 K/BB
I left Zito off for a reason, after having an abysmal season there should be a clear indicator that he shouldn't return. a 9-14 and 4.15 ERA is hardly worth returning especially after multiple injuries.
In a head-to-head sense of things, the way the current rotations stand, the San Francisco Giants have a record of 5-2 over the likes of Oswalt, Lee, Halladay, and Hamels. That's pretty impressive. Don't count your chickens before they hatch Philadelphia. There's 162 games to be played and a defending World Champion team standing in your way.
The Brewers got Zack Greinke in a deal that included Yuniesky Betanacourt and two million dollars in cash for Lorenzo Cain, Alcedes Escobar, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. Shaun Marcum came in a deal with Toronto for prospect Brett Lawrie.
A team that finished third in the "weak" NL Central last year, just got a whole lot better. Don't be fooled: The Brewers finished last year 3rd in the NL in BA, 4th in Runs Scored, 2nd in HRs, and 13th in team ERA. With that being shored up, I look for the Brew Crew to be a legit threat to both St. Louis and the current division champions the Cincinatti Reds for the top spot.
RH Yovani Gallardo ... 14-7, 3.84 ERA
RH Shaun Marcum ... 13-8, 3.64 ERA
RH Zack Greinke ... 10-14, 4.17 ERA
LH Randy Wolf ... 13-12, 4.17 ERA
TOTALS ... 50-41, 3.97 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 2.65 K/BB
Host of Johnny Cueto's karate kicking abilities and Brandon Phillips' on-camera antics, the Reds would take the NL Central division only to lose out badly to the Phillies without a whimper in post season play.
With the Reds making no off-season moves to improve their team, that could prove difficult to maintain dominance. However, with rookie fireballer and Cuban Defector Aroldis Chapman playing more games next year, he could steal the spotlight. With the departure of Aaron Harang to the Padres, Chapman could replace him as the fifth starter.
RH Bronson Arroyo ... 17-10, 3.88 ERA
RH Johnny Cueto ... 12-7, 3.64 ERA
RH Mike Leake ... 8-4, 4.23 ERA
RH Edinson Volquez ... 4-3, 4.31 ERA
TOTALS ... 41-24, 3.93 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 2.10 K/BB
The Los Angeles Dodgers
The LA Dodgers have improved their rotation in the off season by signing John Garland former Padre, and Ted Lilly a mid-season aquisition. The Dodgers prove to have a very deep rotation, and a full season of this crew could help a team that was bottom of the barrel in the NL West in spite of ownership trouble.
LH Clayton Kershaw ... 13-10, 2.91 ERA
RH Hiroki Kuroda ... 11-13, 3.39 ERA
RH Chad Billingsley ... 12-11, 3.57 ERA
RH Jon Garland ... 14-12, 3.47 ERA
TOTALS ... 50-46, 3.33 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 2.38 K/BB
*Lilly 3.62 ERA/RE-SIGNED. First full season could prove to have better numbers than the above. Dodgers have a deep, deep rotation.
The St. Louis Cardinals
The 10-time World Series Champions and bearers of the "Birds on the Bat" boosted an already competitive rotation with the signing of Jake Westbrook. The 2010 team seemed to fall a part against bad teams, and just could not get the job done due to inconsistencies. Rookie Jaime Garcia was taking the league by storm earning 13 wins and a Rookie of the Year candidate.
One big question in that rotation is Kyle Lohse. Since 2008 he has been average at best, playing hurt and returning from injuries too soon due to the lack of depth at the position for the birds. Another thing that's bothersome about this 2011 team is the departure of Brendan Ryan for Ryan Theriot, the 2B Skip Schumaker experiment, and the Lance Berkman signing. These guys that are filling in depth for the birds are minus defenders, and with the loss of Ryan they take a huge hit in the defense category for a pitching staff that is a pitch-to-contact staff. Will pitching coach Dave Duncan change his strategies for next season? Or will they just be "meh"?
RH Adam Wainwright ... 20-11, 2.42 ERA
RH Chris Carpenter ... 16-9, 3.22 ERA
RH Jake Westbrook ... 10-11, 4.22 ERA
LH Jaime Garcia ... 13-8, 2.70 ERA
TOTALS ... 59-39, 3.13 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 2.60 K/BB
One also has to question the durability of 36 year old Chris Carpenter. How much does he have left in his tank? AAA Memphis has ace Shelby Miller liying in the weeds waiting to take a spot in the rotation. If Carpenter goes down, (the workhorse of the group), you bet this rotation is in serious trouble.